In this world of high tech communication systems, the human skill of communicating effectively with another human being is still the most valuable.
As we all know, there are two sides to effectively communicating: listening and talking. Both of them are key to achieving a full understanding between two people, whether in a personal setting or a work situation.
There are so many things that can pull our attention in all different directions and you may wonder if anyone is listening to you. Carefully listening is a skill many people never learn or else have forgotten.
For instance, have you ever been talking to someone and had any of these things happen:
- They are only half listening (if at all) because they are trying to answer a text or an email at the same time.
- You are telling a story and the other person cuts you off to tell you a similar but “more interesting” experience of their own.
- The person interprets everything you are saying and is looking for hidden meanings instead of taking what you are saying at face value.
- You are in the middle of a conversation and their phone rings and they cut you off to answer it?
- The other person is spaced out or daydreaming and you can tell you don’t have their full attention?
- The person cuts in or jumps to a conclusion instead of hearing your whole thought.
- The person has selective hearing and filters out of your conversation what they don’t want to hear.
Communicating to be heard:
Here is the other side of the coin that you could check out on yourself to ensure you are heard more of the time:
- Have you made sure to get the other person’s full attention? Do you have good eye contact?
- If you are giving an order or a direction to the person, did you check to make sure they totally understood exactly what you want?
- Is your own attention fully focused on what you are saying and doing, or are you being distracted by background “noise”?
- Are you being vague or hazy as to what you are asking or saying?
- Are you letting the other person acknowledge you and say what they are thinking in response to your communication?
Try This Out:
For the next week,
1. Notice how people around you are listening to each other.
2. Notice how those around you are getting their communication across.
3. Work on getting people to hear you better.
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