Listen Up!!

Listen up because you never know what you are going to hear!

Do you consider yourself a good listener in both your personal and professional life?

I try to listen well, but then there are those times when someone is saying something to me, and instead of really listening to their whole sentence, I’m already thinking about how I want to respond and how I will say what I want to say or worse yet, I will interrupt them in midstream.   I hope I’m not the only one guilty of this.

I’ve realized over the years that there is an art to listening well. Now you may be reading this and thinking Why is this so important, and why should I care. When you are on the other end, you are the one who wants to be heard.  Right?  Here’s an example.

A few weeks ago, I went to dinner with a very close friend, and in the middle of what I was sharing with her, there were these long pauses while she was texting her friend. I actually felt offended and came to the conclusion that multi-tasking and listening well never go together.

I believe that in any relationship whether it’s with an acquaintance, a spouse or your boss, that the art of becoming better listeners will only enrich us and help those around us feel like they really matter and that they are really being heard.

After recently reading an article by Nancy Friedman called “Six Easy Steps to Becoming a Better Listener”, I found a few interesting tips that we all may wish to implement:

1: Decide to become a better listener. First, you have to make up your mind that that is what you really want to do.

2: Concentrate. Keep an open mind to what the other person is saying, forgetting about your own agenda.

3: Give verbal feedback in using words like interesting, great, I understand, etc.

4: Make a mental note of what is being said, and pay attention to the tone of the other person’s voice because oftentimes, tone speaks volumes.

Not listening or half listening can be dangerous. So listen up because you never know what you are going to hear!