How Do You Listen?


How do you listen? Have you noticed that many people are busy listening to their own thoughts, just waiting to form their next sentence as you are speaking? Is this listening? The words may be heard, but the attention is gone. I am guilty of this on occasion, so I felt a blog post would be of benefit to my wayward mind!

Here are some tools I use to remind myself :

To be a better listener, ask questions. It shows you’re engaged in the conversation. People love it when you show an interest in the topic they are discussing. Be present. When you are interested, people put more trust in you, they find you interesting. We bond with others through trust and end up sharing more about ourselves. Besides, if you don’t listen, you may be tuning out an important message meant just for your ears!

Open minded people, even though they may not share your views tend to be less judgmental. I find this creates a more authentic conversation. Being receptive to others thoughts and feelings engages your senses, bringing your spirit alive. Stay positive and respectful. A shared and diverse perspective can bring us to a  new vantage point in which to view life.

For some, if it’s on their mind, it’s on their mouth. This may be a time to exercise patience, especially if negativity, blame and judgment come rolling out. If you can’t turn the chat into a happier vibe by throwing in positivity, it’s time to exit stage left!

Keep in mind women and men communicate with each other differently. That’s no secret to any of us! Body language, expression and attitude speak volumes. Are they smiling or frowning? Maybe the person you are talking with is shy. Many people misconstrue shyness as snobbery, being aloof, uninterested or bored. Learn to read your listener. Find out what their interests are and expand on something that ignites their soul. You never know, they may say something that inspires you!

Check to see if eye contact says, “I’m paying attention”. When you lose someone’s attention their eyes go blank, or begin to wandering everywhere but on yours.  Politely end the conversation and excuse yourself.

Don’t interrupt, (a habit I have worked on breaking) it’s rude. All part of becoming a better communicator – a habit I intend to master.

Lead with your heart. Let silence be your friend. The space between can become comfortable, not every space needs to be filled.

We are energy. There are people you don’t resonate with. No judgment, just not a vibrational match. We are all here walking our individual paths, so honor others on theirs.

Debra Oakland