Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Benefits Of REALLY Listening

How many times have you been interrupted by someone before you’ve had the time to finish what you’re saying? Quite a few, I bet. How does it make you feel? Ignored … annoyed … perhaps even furious at times? And how many times do you do the same by return? Ah, now you see, the boot’s on the other foot!

So why do we do it? Probably a whole host of reasons; we’re impatient; we like the sound of our own voice; we’re not really interested in what the other person has to say; and that’s just to begin with. If all our conversations were like this, then how much good would come of them? Not a lot. So what’s the answer? How about listening for a change? And letting the other person finish? How do we do that? We forget about ourselves for a moment and really pay attention to the person who’s speaking – not just their words, but their meaning, their emotion, and where applicable, their body language.

INQUIRY: How often do you get annoyed by others who interrupt you as described above? And how often are you guilty of the same by return? What are you creating when you give someone the opportunity to speak fully.

ACTION: This week, pay special attention to your conversations. Call a halt to interrupting people when they’re speaking. Notice how it feels. In a polite and courteous way, encourage those who normally interrupt you to do the same. Again, notice how it feels.

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