If you want to have better communication skills, listen up! In fact, listening is the single most crucial factor of all communication skills. It is more important than stirring oratory, more important than a powerful voice, more important than the ability to speak multiple languages, and more important than a flair for the written word.
Good listening is truly where effective communications and relationships begin. It’s surprising how few people listen well. Those who do are the ones who have learned the SKILL of listening.
The fact is that people love being listened to. It’s true in the business world and at home. Actually, it’s true of just about everyone we meet in life.
Dale Carnegie wrote that the secret … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Attentive listening is the most valuable tool we have for enriching the quality of relationships. Yet, many people neglect it.
Attentive listening means listening without distraction. I have met very few people who have practiced this approach to the point of making it a skill. My financial planner was one such person. Cory had the knack of conveying the feeling that, when you were with her, you had her undivided attention. I don’t know if she learned the skill or if it was just natural with her. But I remember the charismatic impression it made on me.
Unfortunately, all too often, we experience the opposite of attentive listening. As the chair of an accreditation team representing the Western Association … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Being a good listener is one of the keys to having strong relationships. If you’re not a good listener, chances are that many of the relationships in your life are strained.
Think about this: If you ask yourself how you know someone cares for you, one of your responses is likely to be that you know because the person listens to you. Ask a husband about a good wife, and he is likely to say that he knows his wife cares for him because she listens to what he has to say. Ask a wife about a good husband, and she’ll respond that he listens to her.
Even if we are saying something that is not really worth listening to, … >>> READ MORE >>> →
If you ask yourself how you know someone cares for you, one of your responses is likely to be that you know because the person listens to you.
Ask a husband about a good wife, and he is likely to say that he knows his wife cares for him because she listens to what he has to say. Ask a wife about a good husband, and she’ll respond that he listens to her.
When the parent says, “It’s about time you started listening to me,” the youngster may be thinking, “It’s about time you started listening to me.”
Even if we are saying something that is not really worth listening to, we still want someone to listen to us.
Ask … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Active listening is a term with which most are familiar. It means constructively engaging in the act of interpretation while capturing the information being presented. In his classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey points out that most often we do not listen with the intention of understanding; instead we listen with a focus on replying.
Dr. Covey says that when another person speaks, we’re usually “listening” at one of four levels.
1) We may be ignoring another person, not really listening at all.
2) We may practice pretending. “Yeah. Uh-huh. Right.”
3) We may be practicing selective listening, hearing only certain parts of the conversation. We often do this when we’re listening to … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Checking for understanding is by far the most important thing you can do in listening. In fact, without this step you can never be sure that you and the other person actually communicated.
There is a story told about General Alexander Haig, the former commander-in-chief, United States European Command, who spent five years with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). One time at an international party, an Englishman asked him, “General Haig, are you married?”
Haig said, “Yes, I am.”
The Englishman asked, “Do you have any children?”
He answered, “No, I don’t have any children. My wife can’t get pregnant.”
The Englishman said, “Oh I see … your wife is inconceivable.”
A German fellow said, “No, no. You don’t … >>> READ MORE >>> →
If I were limited to one recommendation that would improve relationships between parent and child, especially with teenagers, it would be listen to learn. Listening and valuing young people’s feelings and ideas is what promotes the ability of parents to effectively communicate with them.
Listen to learn means not inserting one’s opinion and not judging what the youngster says while the youngster is speaking. Parents have a natural tendency to approve or disapprove of young people’s statements. Parents’ first reaction is to evaluate from their own point of view and then approve or disapprove of what the youngster says. This is listening autobiographically. The tendency to make evaluations is common in almost all conversations, but it is much … >>> READ MORE >>> →