I spend a lot of time listening these days. I have to tell you, it’s awesome. I also am starting to write a fair amount about listening on this blog and on Twitter as well.
So why do I spend time writing and speaking (ironic isn’t it?) on listening?
Because there is a true art to listening. There is an art in clearing your mind and focusing on someone else’s words and imagery. There is an art to giving someone your full attention and hearing their meaning behind their words.
I like listening because it can build bonds/relationships, it encourages trust, it gives people the opportunity to hear something that they have never heard before. There is no agreement with listening, there is no competition, there is only sharing. Sharing of words and experiences, the sharing of one person’s meaning to the other. The realization that all people interpret events and people’s intents differently.
I like listening because it involves more then just their words. It incorporates their body language, their tone/volume/cadence, it allows you to see a little more about the person.
These are just some reasons why I like listening to people. It’s an art, it is something you and I (are/should) always working on, it’s something that can make or break relationships.
We are taught from a very young age how to speak. How we can become better at it, how we can really get our point across, how to tell a story, or how to present better. But we never really teach people how to truly listen.
These are some reasons that I like listening. These are some reasons why I talk and write about listening.
Do you have any tactics/words of advice to help others work on their listening skills?