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What? I Can’t Hear You (I’m Not Listening)

I learned this week that the number one skill that the worker of the future will need is active listening.  You know, the skill where you actually pay attention to what the other person says.

It’s says a lot about modern living that the number one skill we’ll need is something “soft”, not technological and I think it’s a good thing. So how can we improve this essential life skill?

1.  Listen with your eyes – Eye contact can help you pay attention and has the added benefit of making the speaker feel special. This is especially important in coaching, mentoring or leadership.

2. Summarize – when the person is finished, repeat back what you heard. When you know you are going to do that, you will pay more attention and stop thinking about what you are going to say next.

3.  Pay attention to you own body language –  Are your shoulders square to the person speaking? Are your arms uncrossed? Are you leaning forward slightly? These are all signs that you are listening.

I like to practice these skills on the people who mean the most to me; my children, my family, my friends,  my co-workers. I also make a conscious effort to practice this everyday with the people that I meet. You’ll have to ask them, but I hope they’ll tell you that after we’re done talking; they feel good because they know I’ve heard them. This is probably one of the most important things I do everyday.  I am interested in stories about how better listening is changing your life.

If you’re looking for a little more information, try this article called, “Now Pay Attention.”

3 Responses
  • Dino
    August 18, 2014

    Heya! I know this is sort of off-topic but I needed to
    ask. Does managing a well-established website such as yours
    take a massive amount work? I am completely new to operating a blog however I do write in my diary every
    day. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my own experience and feelings
    online. Please let me know if you have any kind of
    ideas or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!

  • Deborah
    August 19, 2014

    Hi, my only suggest is to just get started. Pick a platform, workdpress, tumblr, blogger and see what works for you. Remember, in the beginning, not many people are reading your blog so don’t let that discourage you. If you write for yourself… then how many readers doesn’t matter. Keep your posts short.. I suggest 250 to start. Use a photo/illustration to help create visual interest. Be sure to get permission or use photos that are copyright free. Keep your personal information personal. Go!

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