by Andy Horner
There was a real popular song many years ago from the musical, The King and I, called Getting to Know You —“Getting to know you, getting to know all about you. Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me….”
We live in a world of words, and yet it seems we talk more, but communicate less! That makes it hard to really know someone.
Good listening is so crucial for effective communication. People believe generally that being the speaker is more important than being the listener—it’s the way you get people to do what you want them to do, understand you, be impressed by you.
There’s no denying the importance of talking, but conversation is two-sided. It’s talking with people, not at them. What kind of countless situations do you find yourself in when it’s important to understand what the other person is saying?
- a friend asking for a favor
- your child telling you about their field trip coming up
- a Jeweler in your downline sharing why she missed training
- important business information shared from the Home Office
Every day people try to communicate with us, and it’s our responsibility to listen and to listen well. They want to feel listened to because it makes them feel cared about and special.
There are many reasons why we do not listen well and maybe you can add to the ones below.
Preoccupation or Daydreaming. Our to-do lists are never ending, our calendars full, we do not have a spare minute to give someone else because we are filling our mind with chores, problems, and ideas. We are unable to give our focus to another person.
Attitude. I’ve shared many times how vital it is to have a good attitude to be successful and it’s just as important to being a good listener. Moods or feelings may color our thinking and block us from being able to listen objectively and openly.
Self-centeredness. We all have the tendency to believe that what we have to say is the most important. (Could also be called argumentativeness when we have to make our own point instead of understanding one another.)
Busy-ness. It takes time to communicate, and it seems the more intelligent man gets, the more gadgets we create, the less time we have for each other… “I’m so busy.”
Jumping to conclusions. It’s easy to judge, evaluate, approve or disapprove too hastily.
The greatest thing we can do for another person is to truly listen to what they’re saying. Seek understanding and respond, not react, to them appropriately. Yes, it takes a lot of self-discipline, but when we listen, we can recognize the needs and motives behind the words, and we can show that person we care and are interested in them. Becoming a better listener makes us more effective as a leader and friend.
Listening Is a Part of Love!