Have you ever had a conversation with someone and at the end it seems that they missed most of what you had told them? Most people don’t listen. Yes, they hear what you are saying but they are not actively listening and being present in the moment.
The reason is because most people are either thinking “What is in it for me?” or they are planning what they want to say next. You can see this most clearly with the people that seem to interrupt a lot or the ones that have a matching story to what you just shared. They will say something to the effect of “I had that same thing happen but….”.
Every one wants to be seen, heard and acknowledged. It is part of being human. Yet we don’t seem to offer that courtesy to others. People seem to be multi tasking while listening. They may be checking their phone or their computer at the same time as having a conversation. This is the same as if they were reading a book and listening to you. They won’t hear all that you have to say, much less remember.
To truly listen to another person there are a few good steps to utilize:
- Stop what you are doing and pay attention
- If in person, make direct eye contact
- When the other person is done sharing, pause before you reply
- Ask yourself, “Is this next statement for the good of the other person and conversation, or is it about me?”
- Repeat to the speaker what you heard them say so that they know you heard them.
- Stay present and in the moment with the other person
By becoming an active listener, you will not only learn more about the speaker, but you will also create greater connection. People are drawn to good listeners because most people love to talk about themselves more than any thing.
Being an active listener will help your career and all of your relationships. The speakers will feel seen, heard and acknowledged. They in turn will have greater trust and appreciation for you and your time.
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