This week I want to focus on something that I have been thinking about quite a bit lately. It is the art of being a good listener. Have you found yourself in situations that are frustrating because the person you are talking to either seems distracted or talks over you and doesn’t let you finish a sentence to get your point across?
Maybe you have been told at times that you need to be a better listener? Or, you might remember discussing something with someone but can’t recall the details because your mind was elsewhere while talking with them. Now, more than ever we live in a world full of many distractions, from the day to day tasks that need to be completed to the never ending ways in which people can immediately get in touch with us. Having fast and easy communication from calls to texts to emails is good for allowing us to multi-task, but it can be bad at the same time for giving someone your full attention and really listening to all they have to say.
I don’t have much patience for people that talk over you or are distracted when you’re talking to them, most likely because I have always been a very good listener and was actually someone that many people would confide in and talk to about things from a very early age. I remember being a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen to for many of my friends because I would truly hear them and I could better offer the right words, mostly because I gave the time and attention to what was being communicated.
Communication is key to success in all aspects of our lives. Friendships, family, business, relationships and education all require constant, healthy communication and being good at listening to each other is what will make them thrive.
Many years ago a Greek philosopher named Epictetus said “Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we speak.”
So, how is it that we can become a better listener? I have come up with a list of things that might help. Feel free to share them with someone you think could use some tips.
- Make sure that you have eye contact with the person you are listening to and not looking at your phone or anything else that can distract you. This can be extremely frustrating to the other person and could result in bad feelings.
- Summarizing or repeating some of the conversation can be quite effective as it will allow you to get the full point being expressed as well as to avoid any misunderstandings.
- Learn to start asking questions and truly listen to the answers in order to realize what the person you are talking to needs or is wanting to express. It is amazing how much more can be accomplished when done effectively.
- Make sure that you are able to take the time to listen. If you are in the middle of something, in a hurry, stressed or just mentally not able to be there in that moment, be honest and let the other person know that you want to listen but at a different time. This way you can give your undivided attention and be more effective. People will appreciate the honesty and the quality of time even if it is a bit delayed.
- The most important thing to remember is, don’t interrupt the other person while they are trying to tell you something, let them get the full message out before jumping in because maybe they just needed to vent and don’t need advice at all.
I assure you that becoming a better listener will only lead to good things in terms of your growth, success, happiness and overall beautifulife!
My affirmation for you this week is;
“I will make an extra effort to become a better listener in order to understand and communicate more effectively.”