Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Listening - a lost art

if you’re asking questions or drawing conclusions you’ve stopped listening.

Does that make listening passive? No. It takes effort to keep focused, in the moment and absorbing the information before attempting to process it.

I'm a terrible listener. I interrupt. I get impatient as I can see the conclusion coming a mile away (makes it hard to read poorly written murder mysteries). Non-sequitors pop out of my mouth as ideas flow. I want every moment to be a two way conversation.

Listening is part of having a conversation. Listening provides a mirror; allows the other person to complete a thought and prepare for yours; listening offers a means of showing respect and building trust. Listening is a great skill to offer as a mentor and to use when networking.

The next time there's a pause in a conversation, don't jump to fill it. See what happens if you simply nod and say "Take your time; I'm listening."

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