Monday, March 14, 2011

Do You Reckon You Are A Good Listener?

I reckon that most people think that they are good listeners, but alas, it is a skill that we could all improve on and hey, I am talking to myself here, too.
Do you find that after conversations with family, friends and colleagues that you try to remember exactly what you spoke about? Do you have problems recounting facts, figures and even names of people?  You are not alone.
We live in a world where we are bombarded with so much information in a day, that sometimes I think my brain might explode.

The amount of information that you and I come into contact with versus the likes of our grandparents when they were our age, is significantly greater.
With the introduction of email and computers and the world wide web, our worlds are so much smaller, too!
Within just minutes of the recent devastating tsunami and earthquake in Japan, the news was transmitted across the globe!
So, is it any wonder why we might struggle with shutting down our thought processes long enough to just focus on the current conversation we are having.
A lot of us are already preparing in our minds our responses to the person we are talking with instead of totally listening to what they are saying.
And when we do speak back, are we actually checking to make sure that we heard them correctly?
This kind of listening is not only really important at work, but also with your children, spouses and friends.
I really want to be a better listener, so I am going to work at developing my skills better.
At the end of the day, I want to be able to recap a conversation that I have had with a person almost verbatim and I am told that it is possible.

Focus, remove distractions and just listen.......without taking notes.  Yep, I used to like to take notes, but by doing this, I am actually distracted and not completely focusing on the person speaking.  I find that I have to ask the person to repeat themselves to make sure that I heard them correctly.  Sure, getting the person to repeat themselves is not a bad thing, but if you are needing them to do this because of a distraction (emails, thinking about the other job that you need to finish, the things you need to pick up at the shop so you can make dinner, or any other number of things), then you are not giving the person your undivided attention.

Go ahead - I challenge you to become a better listener! You know you want to and I reckon that it will enhance the quality of both your life and the person with whom you are conversing!

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant post Bren. I reckon you are truly onto something here. Indeed it is a learned skill that we all need to conscious develop. Congrats on another quality post :)