Listening is very becoming of a person.
Too often, we’re just too engrossed – in ourselves.
As someone who knows how much fun I have talking, it’s not always easy for me to listen.
But listening creates connections, lifts spirits, teaches us and gives us new understanding. There is power in listening in all walks of life – from parent, to teacher, to pastor, to business owner. The benefits of truly listening are often a huge benefit to both parties.
Here are five ideas, I gleaned from the book, Your Next 24 Hours, to improve opportunities to truly listen:
Put It Away
Put away your cell phone when you’re in a group conversation or meeting. This is one huge step toward listening. It’s an important habit to get into for meetings, meals and other moments.
Keep Eye Contact
When someone is talking, keep eye contact and don’t interrupt. This immediately improves listening.
Make an effort to remember the names of the people you meet. Listening to someone say their name is the first real step toward remembering.
Tell Me Your Story
When you’re at your barber or hairstylist, ask him or her to tell you their story. Take interest in people by asking questions and listening. This open-ended question allows you to practice listening.
Ask others for advice as you are making decisions. This is win-win – you glean wisdom and others have a chance to share it.
I heard a little joke once about a woman who was always late. One day, her daughter came to pick her up for an important appointment and she still didn’t come out of the house on time. When she finally did, she apologized to her daughter and said that her neighbor called and “just wouldn’t stop listening.”
Be a listener. Step back, think more about others, and truly listen. See what happens.
You can pick up a copy of this book: Your Next 24 Hours