What We Have Here Is a Failure To Communicate!
Writing about our communication habits this week I focused on the art of listening? We are all (ncluding me) terrible at listening sometimes. We put too much focus on our response when someone is talking, and not enough attention on what’s actually being said. Think about the last time your partner, co-worker, or spouse said, “are you listening to me?” or, “did you hear what I said?”. My husband feels I listen with half my attention and so he repeats himself. It’s true. I’m sure you can relate. Learning how to listen is not only essential in building relationships of trust, it’s also important to take in all the information we need from the other person whose speaking. Too many times we’re in a rush and so we miss the important parts. But when we can slow down, listen with our full attention, we not only build trust, but we offer the other person the thing we all want…respect.
Read my last article What We Here Is a Failure to Communicate
No doubt you have had thousands of conversations during your lifetime. Think of conversations that had an important impact on your life, good or bad. Did they leave you feeling inspired or confused? Challenged? Do you wish you had said something more meaningful, or addressed the real issues at hand? Did you shy away from appearing confrontational? Counterintuitive though it may be, to communicate effectively, you must first be a strong listener.
Communication is perhaps the most empowering of all life skills. Moreover, it’s a skill that you can learn, just like learning to ride a bike or writing. If you are willing to work on this, it can drastically improve every aspect of your life. Jim Rohn in this lecture talks about the basic things necessary to make you an excellent communicator.
You’re Not Listening by Kate Murphy. An excellent and easy read.
When was the last time you listened, really listened without thinking about what you want to say next, glancing down at your phone, or jumping in to offer your opinion? And when was the last time you felt really listened to? When you didn’t feel you were being interrupted by someone wanting to get their 10 cents in? Conversely, when was the last time you gave someone your entire attention, listening to what’s being said, and what’s not being said without making up your own stories in your head before you got all the information? These issues and more Kate Murphy explores and helps you understand by listening matters to your success.
Listen to nature. Try sitting quietly and picking up the sounds in nature. A bird song, the rustle of the trees, a barking dog in the distance, a plane overhead. Take five minutes to close your eyes and really listen to your environment. It’s talking to you all the time and most of the time we don’t even notice. When your time is up how do you feel?
Watch my interview with @Julie Castro Abrams and listen to what she has to say about women and leadership in a changing world. We all have much to learn from listening to people who communicate well. After all, we all communicate, good or bad, and we can all do better.