By Lindy Earl
We have all heard the adage, You have 2 ears and 1 mouth so you can listen twice as much as you speak. It’s good the first time you hear it but it gets old fast. The question is, what does it mean to be a good listener?
First, it means giving others your attention. There is a difference between talking face to face and talking while you are busy making supper or going through the mail. Face to face chatting makes the other person the focus of your attention. It also makes them feel important, which is a good thing.
Second, it means being open minded to what they have to say. Non-verbal communication speaks volumes, and it often shouts. Yes, I am a Professional Speaker and I give seminars on this, among other, subjects on Communication. But this one is so important! We often say so much with our non-verbal responses that we are not being a good listener. If you can make a point of being open minded to what others are saying, your non-verbal cues will be in check.
It also means focusing on what is being said versus thinking of what your response is. You will have your turn, and it will be better spent if you listen to a message, take a minute to digest it (they’ll wait for you to do so, and you can even say, “Let me think about this for a minute”), then respond. Taking a minute to organize our thoughts helps with good communication and avoids miscommunication.
If you are truly listening to others, then at the end of the day you should be able to recall important information from your conversation. If you remember the conversations but not the points, ask yourself if you can listen better tomorrow.
Lindy is a Columnist, Speaker, and Consultant. Contact her at LMEarl@EarlMarketing.com to learn how you can have her speak at your organization or consult with your team.