In our busy world ‘listening’ is becoming a casualty. Could it be we are being trained to have a very short attention span?
There are ‘tweets’ – 280 characters, which includes punctuation and spaces.
Text messages instead of talking on the phone
Facebook – ‘Like’ instead of commenting.
The trouble is not everyone is on Twitter or Facebook (or Pinterest, or Instagram etc.)
Do you know, actually know, if your friend (or relative) is going through a tough time? Hard question – are you really interested? Sometimes we are not, so be honest. Say – kindly – I don’t have the time at the moment. Or, if you are preoccupied with one of your own matters, tell the person that, rather than only half listening.
Blocks to Listening
- You are thinking of something else
- You don’t want to hear
- You only hear some of what is said
- You listen to respond, not to hear what you are being told
- You have already concluded what they are talking about
You want to listen and understand?
Here are those 7 things you can improve on today…
- Pay attention
- Focus on what is being said
- If you are unsure – ask what they mean
- Be patient if the person you are listening to is having difficulty explaining
- Try to see what they are saying from their point of view
- Observe the non-verbal signs – also consider the volume, tone of voice, and expression of the speaker.
- Be patient. Don’t assume a pause means the speaker is finished.
And another important one –
Watch your own ‘non-verbal’ response to what is being said.
It can encourage or put a person off.
Listening is a skill that is vanishing.
In our busy lives we have many pressures to deal with and tend to be self-focused… or focused on our own problems.
If you have the time, take the time – to listen. You might be the only person the other feels will understand.
During my recent stay in hospital I met other patients who only needed someone to listen. They did not need solutions or suggestions, they were inundated with those from doctors, nurses, and other staff members.
Speaking to someone who listened helped them clarify their own thoughts.