Monday, June 13, 2016

The Art of Listening

I have a friend who loves to talk and offer advice and often very unsolicited advice.  It poses a problem because often she’s not listening so the advice, as much as it is heartfelt, doesn’t always work because she wasn’t listening to begin with, so the response is off. I have another acquaintance who doesn’t listen at all she just talks and talks AND talks. I can’t get a word in.The art of listening is lost on both of these people. I think they both mean well and are kind but actually listening and having a two-way conversation seems to be missed in most of their communications. I think listening is an art and here a few tips:

Eye contact is necessary – look the person in the eyes 

Be aware and attentive – show interest. Nod your head, lean in, show some interest. 

Don’t interrupt – wait for a pause before you jump into the conversation.

It might not be your idea, opinion or even a fact but relax and take it in.  It’s OK to disagree just do it graciously. 

Don’t try to think ahead about your response because you’ll miss half of what they say.

If everyone tried to actively listen to each other I think there would be less communication problems.