Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Communication: The art of listening

Recently my five year old daughter said something that got me thinking. The children had just left the pool and she said "water is in my ear I think I got a ear inspection" too funny, she meant ear infection. I had just been thinking about listening skills, how apropos. So I started an "ear inspection" on myself. Do I really hear when people are talking to me? Do I listen intently when I'm being spoken to?

Communication is much more than talking, it is listening and being in the moment. Listening is not waiting for someone to finish talking in order to get a point across. Nor is it thinking about what to say next or formulating an opinion. Hearing and listening are quite different. Most of us hear without even trying but listening requires real effort.

Everyday I am learning more and more that people really want to be heard. They want to tell their story and they want someone to listen. People are not always looking for answers, just a listening sympathetic ear. Sometimes when a person vents they feel a lot better.

I have always thought I was a pretty good listener but now I am re-evaluating my listening skills. I have decided to talk less and listen more. This I'm sure will take lots of practice but I can do it, I will do it.

everyday talk for everyday women...

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