The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.
I’ve read this quote a few times. Each time I totally agree with it. In society today, I think we all have an awful lot to say. We have opinions about pretty much everything and sometimes tend to even give them when they aren’t asked for. I’m not a new year resolutions kinda gal, however I do believe in constantly striving to be better than the person I was yesterday. I want this to include consciously listening and only replying if it’s called for.
I talk a lot. If I get on the phone with my mum or friends, I can talk for hours. . . sometimes I honestly don’t even know what I have to say. I do listen to people. But I’ve noticed I tend to interject a lot and can open my mouth to comment before the other person has even finished their sentence. Last year I met a very influential person to me. Something that stuck with me was that she asked questions, and when I answered she listened to every word I had to say, took in all of my words. Once I asked her a question, then and only then did she speak. I very rarely speak to people and get that reaction. It made me feel valued by her, that what I had to say meant something to her and that regardless of the fact that she had spoken to about 100 people before me and still had another 80 odd to go, she wanted to be there with me in that moment, to listen, to help, to advise. This experience really stuck with me. I have thought about it many times, remembering how it made me feel and why that is so important. It’s something I think we really lack.
Going forward my intention is to be a conscious listener. I won’t remember all the time and I will slip up. . . However I want to become a better individual and I also intend to hold an important position in a company and help many people. With this, I believe comes a responsibility to be present and value people and what they have to say. I want people to feel the way I felt after speaking to this influential woman, when they have spoken to me. Valued and important.
What kind of listener are you? Do you interrupt? Do you ask question to genuinely find out the answer? How do you make people feel when you have conversations? Do you need to be more conscious?
One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.