Hellooooo!! ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?
We all know the importance of listening yet have you taken time to assess your listening skills? Do you really take time to work on this all-important skill? Listening is one of those communication skills that can make or break you both professionally and personally.
As a former high school teacher, learning to actively listen was one of those skills that had to be learned as well as taught. For me, I know that it is important that I review my listening lesson in order to say attuned to my clients, friends and family.
Here are a few of the listening lessons that have helped me over the years:
- Listen with your EYES. Making eye contact with the person you are speaking with in person is essential. When you actively pay attention by looking into the other persons eyes, you make a connection and let the other person know that you are interested and focused.
- When you are on the phone, you can also listen with your eyes. What I mean by this is focusing on what the other person is saying. If you are trying to do another task while speaking on the phone, you are not going to really HEAR what that person is saying. Stop what you are doing and listen intently.
- Learn to actively listen to the other person. This might mean taking a few notes, asking for clarification or simply reiterating what they said. This shows sincerity and insures that you are getting your information correct.
- Stop thinking ahead of the person speaking. Don't be so concerned about what YOU are going to say that you don't hear what is being said. Have you ever had someone cut you off all of the time because they just had to get in their own statement?
- When someone is sharing a story with you, show interest in THEIR story. Don't think you HAVE to share YOUR story of YOUR experience. Let the speaker share and show interest in THEIR story. If time permits and the situation allows, you will have time to share your stuff.
Oh how I enjoy a great conversation with someone who knows how to listen, knows when to ask questions and allows for each party to participate. In our rushed and harried world, the art of really good conversation is getting lost in the mix.
For me, having good and meaningful conversations will always be important. I enjoy getting to know people and appreciate a nice, leisurely conversation. Why not take a little time each day to sit and have a truly meaningful conversation with someone? This is a great opportunity to practice and enhance your listening skills.
Become the type of person that others enjoy speaking with. Your life will be enhanced by volumes!