Learning to listen

March 28, 2016
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
Listening is a skill we need to develop. We are taught as children to listen to others. However as we grow up and we begin to engage more in greater social settings our etiquette falls away. Most adults are really poor listeners, we must train ourselves to hold the space for the people we care about and listen with our ears and our heart.
When you listen to someone do you speak over the top of them, do you run your words straight over theirs when they have finished or do you really listen, process and consider what you have just heard? Active listening is the skill of truly listening to another person. Hearing, understanding and processing what they have said before you start your response. This skill of active listening is very important in your business relationships, especially with your staff, customers and clients. Abandoning the need to anticipate and create a response and just listen intently builds respect and also facilitates validation.
We all love to be heard and to be understood. Practice active listening with your family, friends and colleagues this week and see how the pace of your communication slows down and the depth and level of meaning in the interactions are amplified. Make a point of truly listening and responding from your heart to what people say. Take time to put together a heart felt and considered response. It is amazing how your business can benefit from this simple skill.
At the same time release the need to be right, release the need to have the last word and release the need to have yourself heard and validated in every conversation. Make your language and interactions about others as a general rule and see how your relationships transform with greater balance and outcomes.



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