Listening is one of the most powerful ways to connect. When you listen, you affirm that the other person is worthy of your attention and respect. You gain more insight into this person; you also improve the quality of your relationships overall, which in turn provides you with much-needed support when you're stressed or down. Whether it's a 10-minute exchange on the subway or a chat over coffee, careful listening transforms an ordinary conversation to one that fosters growth and higher self-esteem.
The funny thing is, we all think we're really good listeners, but we could be better. We don't tap into our skills as often as we should.
- Find a quiet place to talk. Being interrupted kills the vibe.
- Put the phone away. Nothing undercuts a conversation like a digital distraction.
- Resist the urge to jump in. Fight this tendency, even if it springs from good intention. Wait until the other person finishes.
- Pause. Allow a moment to pass before you jump in. It shows that you were really listening.
Listening is not only vital to the life of your relationships. When done right, it strengthens your focus muscle. Soon you'll become more focused on the tasks -- and the people -- in front of you.
--Posted by Lindsay Holmes