How often do you do these things while you’re ‘listening’ to someone else:
- You nod and smile and pretend to listen, but your mind is somewhere else
- You don’t give them your full attention (looking down at your phone or elsewhere)
- You listen for space to be able to speak yourself rather than truly listening to what the other person is saying
- You make a judgment of the speaker rather than listening to their words
- You start to listen and then have a better idea yourself
- You decide on your own viewpoint before listening and then don’t really listen at all
- You cut the speaker off
I’ve been guilty of all of these behaviours at times.
Imagine what would be different if we made an effort to give people our attention and listen to what they have to say.
Listening takes effort and it sometimes takes a bit more time. It costs nothing yet builds trust, allows us to connect and helps us learn. It’s worth the effort.