Always do your best…….develop great listening skills. Successful relationships rely on many factors; one of the most important is our ability to communicate succinctly and to listen attentively. Intellectually, we know that there are different levels of listening. Yet much of the time in this fast paced world we are not listening at level one. Watch people as you speak, you can see in their faces that they don’t have the time to truly listen. That they are busy forming their responses to what you are saying, they may even be finishing your sentences for you. They are listening to respond.
Spiritually, it can hurt us when we don’t feel listened to, or understood. It impacts our motivation levels and our sense of self-worth. Because, people who speed conversations up with poor listening skills, take the joy out of conversing, and exchanging ideas….. and so the effects of poor listening on any relationship are significant. In essence it means that you are not willing to suspend your own agenda, long enough to understand another person’s point of view. You aren’t interested in understanding….only in being understood. It is an ego based response. Yet with openness, with focused listening, we can give people one of the greatest gifts. We can meet their need to be heard and understood. We take our leadership skills to a whole new level when we listen to understand. Life is always offering you moments to pay attention…….are you listening?
Stephen R. Covey said “Few needs of the human heart are greater than the need to be understood. To have a voice that is heard, respected, and valued. To have influence. Most believe that the key to influence is communication. Getting your point across persuasively. But don’t you find that while others are speaking to you, instead of really listening, you are preparing your response. The real beginning of influence comes when people feel understood by you. That you have listened deeply and sincerely, and that you are open. The principle of influence is governed by mutual understanding born of the commitment of at least one person to deep listening first.”
By Lisa Scott Executive Life Coach