Did you ever notice people thank us for listening, not for speaking? Nothing is more satisfying than a good listener, because complete attention feels like a precious gift. I’m a talker, so listening was not easy, as it might be for others who naturally listen. I had to learn the difference between active and passive listening, which really helped me in my life and career. Even if I don’t like someone, I can create a worthwhile experience for both of us by deciding to listen, focusing on my words, tone of voice and non-verbal behaviors so our interaction doesn’t feel like a waste of time.
I needed to learn how to shut my mouth and open my ears, which is not a bad thing, and actually makes my life go more smoothly. The other person usually wants to give a viewpoint, or information, so I let them finish, and ask a few questions, and I don’t cut them off in midstream. They don’t hate me like they might have before when they didn’t feel heard. It’s not phony to shut up and listen, it’s actually mature and unselfish, which is why I had to learn how to do it. I wasn’t ready to hear another person’s concerns, because I was mostly interested in what I wanted to share. Continue reading “More about Listening” »