Practice Active Listening

We are in a series of practices to start off your 2015 and deepen your spiritual and relational experiences.

Today, let’s consider listening.

“When you listen, listen completely. Most people don’t listen,” said Mark Twain.

“You can hear a lot just by listening,” Yogi Berra added.

When you are in a conversation, what are you doing?

Most people are thinking about what they are going to say when there is a pause. Or they are talking over the other person. Arguing, even.

When you are at a conference or in church listening to the message, what are you thinking? Dozing off?

We need to engage with the speaker. The practice is active listening. The first thing is where you’re looking. Focus your eyes on the speaker. What is the posture, eye contact (or lack), gesture? Communication is a “full-contact” sport.

In a personal conversation, focus on an eye. If there is much ambient noise, I alternate focus on eyes and mouth so that I can “see” the words coming, too. I’m listening to the person with all my senses.

Rather than trying to come up with a better story, try to think of questions to draw out more information and engagement.

In a large setting, take notes. You may never refer to the notes again. The very act of note taking, though, keeps you alert and focusing on the speaker.

For 2015, let’s develop our active listening skill.

 

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One Response to “Practice Active Listening”

  1. Moira Says:

    Reblogged this on endless moira.

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