My youngest daughter came to me a couple of years ago and climbed up on my lap while I was watching a do it you self show on PBS. What she wanted was my attention while she told me what she needed.
I pretended to listen to her while a I continued to watch the show. The show was on how to on building a workbench, some I was very interested in since I needed one.
All of a sudden she grab my face with both of her little hands and turn my face so that was looking straight at her. She say, “Daddy listen to me.” She then proceeded to tell me about a party she needed to go to.
Listening isn’t always the easiest thing to do especially with small children or when we find a topic we really aren’t interested in or the speaker is plan old boring.
Everybody deserves our undivided attention when they are speaking with us.
Five things you can do today to improve your listening skills and make you a better listener.
- Pay Attention– Acknowledge the message both verbally and non-verbally. Your non-verbal actions speak just as loudly.
- Look at the speaker.
- Don’t distract yourself by preparing a rebuttal.
- Avoid environments that will distract you when talking with others.
- Read the speakers body language.
- Show that you are listening– Use your body to let the person know you are listening
- Occasionally nod your head.
- Use Facial expressions.
- Watch how you are sitting, your posture lets a person a lot.
- Use comments to keep the person speaking
- Give Feedback
- Paraphrase what is being said back.
- Clarify points you don’t understand.
- Periodically summarize what is being said.
- Reserve Judgement– Don’t interrupt, its irritating and you don’t get the entire message.
- Allow the person to finish.
- Don’t interrupt with a counter argument.
- Respond appropriately– Don’t attack the speaker or put them down. By listening you are gaining understanding and insight. It also show respect.
- Be honest in your response.
- State your opinion but be respectful.
- Treat the speaker as you would want to be treated.
If you follow these simple steps you will become a better listener as a leader, father, and husband.
Question: Who do listen to others?
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