Active Listening is a Challenge
When my 4 children were growing up, I was always busy as you can imagine with 4 little ones and all the chores of a mother and wife. The main thing that I regret is; that being a busy person I had to always be moving, or at least that is what I thought.
So when one of the kids came to me to talk or share something with me or to ask a question; many times they had to follow me around while they were talking, as I didn’t always take the time to just sit down and look them in the eye and listen to them.
Thankfully we were a very loving family so it didn’t seem to affect them in a negative way… at least I don’t think so. Now, I try to really listen to people when they are talking, and sometimes that is a challenge!
I-phones have taken over and children communicate with their thumbs rather than their mouths. Adults are no better.
The one positive thing out of it all is that one no longer seems to need a baby sitter; instead give the kids an I-phone! They can play games, text their friends, Facebook, etc. So even though there is communication going on, it is not verbal! They don’t know how to listen because they are only writing. Listening and speaking skills are being lost.
An interesting e-book has some vital information for those who want to improve their skill in listening called, “How to Improve Your Listening Skills” Effective Strategies for Enhancing Your Active Listening Skills: By BizMove Management Training Institute
Their closing remarks are:
“Are you an effective (good) listener? Do you listen intently and try to understand what the sender means? Do you try to put your understanding of the message in your own words and give feedback based on what you feel the communicator meant? Without adding or deleting anything from the message?”
“If so, you will reach a better understanding with the originator of the message. Are you willing to enter the communicator’s world for a few moments and share his experiences through intensive listening? By so doing, you can become an effective listener and convey a great kindness to him. At that point, you have taken a positive step toward improving your ability to communicate with others.”
Getting on the same page
How many times have we (not intentionally) twisted the message of the communicator and frustrated him/her?
Obviously we can’t read the mind of the person speaking; but we can ask questions to know or see what he/she is actually saying. In today’s very fast paced world we have lost the art of good communication and in the process the art of effective listening.
I believe we should strive to improve our ability to communicate with others and become not only a good communicator, but a good listener!
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