a great active listening example by Robert McCloskey
I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but
I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
Human beings normally have two ears, nevertheless it's our one mouth that takes the show. Even if most of us describe ourselves as “being good listeners,” what we end up hearing most of the time is ourselves.
We may have come into this life with the ability to listen, but active listening is a skill that must be mastered.
The essence of active listening is being able to focus on what another person is saying without being distracted. When someone speaks, they want to feel heard, this need is ingrained in all of us. Human beings need to communicate, when we can't or feel that we're not being listened to, it affects that most basic part of ourselves – our self esteem.
The better you are at active listening, the more information you will attain from what others are telling you.
This can pay off with big rewards in your career and strengthen the bond with your family and friends.
How well you listen has a major impact on job effectiveness and the quality of your relationships.
Listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving.
Listening creates an environment of trust.
Companies are learning that trust determines the speed of communication.
When trust is low you limit communication.
When people are in trust they communicate everything openly without restrictions. You get a huge flow on information.
With distrust they only communicate a small percentage of the information they have.
Eventually this leads to breakdowns.
Think about how much information you get everyday from listening.
And of all of this listening how much are you:
Chances are it is a lot less then you think.
A lot of the time we ACT as if we are listening to another person but in reality our minds are onto other topics or are already planning what we are going to say in return.
When we are pre-occupied with ourselves and our own thoughts we can miss important things the other person is saying.
There are five key elements of conscious listening. They all help you ensure that you hear the other person, and that the other person knows you are hearing what they say.
Show that You Are Listening.
Tip: If you find yourself responding emotionally to what someone said, say so, and ask for more information: "I may not be understanding you correctly, and I find myself taking what you said personally. What I thought you just said is XXX; is that what you meant?".
Start using active listening today to become a better communicator, improve your workplace productivity, and develop better relationships.