Listen to who’s talking until they are done
Have you listened lately?
In the past 24 hours – or even in the past week – how often have you listened to someone without thinking ahead about what you’re going to say? Be honest!
Yes, people can be annoying and go on and on about themselves and you just can’t get a word in edgewise. And there are times when you need to be the one listened to, not the one listening. Yet that can’t be all the time!
You need to just listen. Really listen. Listen in a way that you want to be listened to. Give the person you are listening to your complete attention, as if they were the only person in the room. Be quiet. Be patient. Wait until they’re done. Watch their body language and other non-verbal queues.
Change your listening approach
This isn’t email, Twitter or texting, where you can only guess the tone through an emoticon provided by the other person. This is real life, where the most valuable gift you can give someone is your complete, undivided attention.
When the person you are listening to is done, ask a question based directly on what they just said, not what you had on your mind before they started talking. Show that you really took time to listen. Give them words of encouragement. Say, “It sounds like that was a difficult experience”. Or, “How did you feel about that?”. Or, “That’s a great idea!”
Listening is one of the greatest gifts you can give to another person. Yet it can also benefit you in ways you may never have thought of. Here are some quotes that I use to remind myself of how important listening is.
Some of my favorite quotes on listening
- Your children need your presence more than your presents. – Jesse Jackson
- I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it. – Harry S. Truman
- I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen. – Ernest Hemingway
- Listening to people keeps them entertained. – Mason Cooley
- Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk. – Doug Larson
Just listen. Really listen.
- As often as you can during the day.
Clicking the button below will take you to a page where you can add a reminder to your calendar for Just Listen. You must have a Simple Daily Change account to set up calendar reminders.
This Simple Daily Change is also part of the following program combining multiple changes. Clicking the button below will take you to a page where you can view and add the entire program to your calendar.