Are You Listening

One of the biggest weaknesses of most people in relationships is that they don't listen that means really listen. Listening is from hearing. Hearing is a physical act that we do with our ears. Listening is a mental act that we do with our brains. Most people who fail to listen do it, not because they are poor hearers.

Many factors contribute to a person's poor listening behavior or habits. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Distractions in the environment
  • The other person's body language
  • The history of the relationship
  • Unresolved issues between the two people
  • Lack of interest in the subject
  • The pace of the other person's dialogue
  • Limited vocabulary of either person
  • Personal unresolved issues with either person
  • Personal prejudices or judgments of either person
  • Personality style differences

Any, or all of these can get in the way of a person getting or understanding your message. Observe the other person's non-verbal messages while you're talking to him/her. She'll tell you, without a doubt, whether she's listening to you or not. If there is any doubt if he's listening, ask him a question in the middle of one of your sentences. If he doesn't answer, is there any reason to continue with the rest of the message as you're doing?

To improve your listening skills:

Stay focused on the other person

Look for the theme of the message

Key into the major points

Control distractions

Stay in the present

Make lots of eye contact, and use responses such as, "I see," "uh huh," "Hmmm," "Really," etc.

Pay attention to those things that draw your attention away from the other person and the message

Improved listening will have a tremendous, and positive impact on all of your relationships, whether business or personal. Listening to others is one of the greatest compliments you can pay them.





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