Listening is not an easy art to acquire.

While it is valuable to speak and share our ideas, thoughts, opinions and feelings, listening with full attention can pay high dividends.

But we have our own thought processes and embedded filters coming in the way of active listening, and it’s tempting to start formulating a response before the other person has concluded their side of the dialog. But deep listening not only helps us comprehend the actual message, but also gives a great sense of solace to the person who is talking to us.

Listening and Learning

Because it seems as though there are never enough hours in a day, it becomes very challenging to take the time to have real conversations complete with attentive listening. While some of us do compartmentalize and listen well at work (because it is essential to get our jobs done), we may not have the very same drivers to actively listen to our own family and friends outside of work. And a big part of active listening is observing the cues in tone, body language and facial expressions.

Lending an ear to at least a few folks around us on a daily basis will help to learn new perspectives as well as give great satisfaction to the speakers of being heard. Sometimes more than being understood, the very action of just being heard can make someone’s day!

Go Do:

  • Listen with all your attention to at least one person today.
  • Focus on the message and the body language of the speaker as opposed to your filters, response formulation, etc. Paraphrase your understanding to ensure you understood.
  • Take a moment to observe the relief or satisfaction you provide by listening actively.