Over time, I have come to embrace the notion that I am a “pracademic” —…
Listening Is A Gift
Communication is one of those things that we take for granted. Some people are naturally effective communicators or have learned from great examples in life — either at home or at work.
But for the rest of us, communication is something that we have to work at to get better. Often, we don’t realize that our communication needs improving until we’re smack-dab in the middle of a situation where you think to yourself, “wow…this is not going well and I could use some help.”
The awesome news about communication skills is that you can ALWAYS get better. You just have to work at it…and be intentional about how you work at it. The first step: learning to listen.
SuperCommunicator Tip #1: Finish what you are doing. Send the email, close the screen, put the phone down, etc. so that you can give the person your full attention.
Stop what you are doing when you are talking to someone. Look them in the eyes. Turn off your brain…you know, the list of 24 other things that you could or *should* be doing right at this moment.
Try to hear that the other person is saying. By this, I don’t mean only their words, but what are their facial expressions and body language ‘saying’ to you?
Make sure the other person knows that you are listening. Nod your head. Say something affirming: “It sounds like you feel upset about how this project is going, even though on the surface looks like it’s going well…” or “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I hear you saying that you feel….”.
Can you think of a time when you just wanted someone to listen and really+truly+honestly HEAR you? And, you were looking to be heard and not have someone offer solutions or try to fix the problem?
Learning to stop what you are doing and focus on the person talking can give them the gift of being truly heard. Watch it change your relationships – both at work and at home.
YOU and the people around you are WORTH making this change for. It won’t happen overnight — and you still might mess up. But that’s ok: the intentional effort is the important part.
Keep rocking! YOU GOT THIS!