My good friend, Sharon Emery, is an accomplished journalist and editor with some impressive professional credentials to her name, including a current position as a Vice President for well-respected public relations firm The Rossman Group based in Lansing, Michigan.

Emery is also one of three millions Americans who stutter, yet it hasn’t stopped her from living a full and productive life. The journalist recently penned an essay about her stuttering that I find worth reading for all. As someone whose son’s severely limited speech impacted his life and interactions with others, I’ve learned firsthand that becoming a better listener often leads to much more meaningful and productive communication.

Fact is, many of us who can speak easily abuse the privilege and often say little of lasting value, in part, because we don’t take the time to really listen to what’s being said by others. That’s our loss.

Becoming a better listener is one of the greatest lessons my son taught me.

Read Thoughts on a ‘Disabled Listener,’ Or How Listening Differently Can Help Fluent Speakers Communicate with Stutterers here.

Photo Judy Winter 2010