Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Do you really listen?

How are your listening skills? Have you ever felt completely heard?  You know, those times when someone else looks right at you, sits forward in her chair, and really listens to your every word, asking questions when appropriate to draw you out further? Yes, we probably all know what that feels like—rare as it may be.

I suspect we're all guilty of doing a lot of "listening on the run." Listening while also thinking about the errands we still have to run and what we're going to fix for dinner, etc. It happens a lot these days in our multitasking society.

I think it's worth practicing deeper listening skills, however. And when I say that, I'm challenging myself, too. When I coach my clients, I truly set aside my own "stuff" and listen deeply. I try to do that in my personal life conversations, too, but I'll confess I'm just as guilty as anyone at "listening on the run." I want to do better, however.

Why? I know that listening well to others creates better bridges to them. I get to know them better. I learn more about life—and likely, even about myself. I make others happy, and we know happiness is contagious and that it spreads. Is there anything that so makes us feel wrapped in love and care as truly being heard? So why not ramp up our listening skills today?

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