Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shut Up and Listen

How many times have you been the victim of an incessant babbler? On and on they go with seemingly no end in sight. They barely pause long enough to take a breath. Usually, people avoid them like a plague, but occasionally you get cornered. These are the people who never learn anything. How can they, they're too busy talking about what's important to them.

What can we learn from this type of person? Shut up and listen more. Effective communicators do far more listening than talking. Through listening they hear what others miss and are often able to reach a deeper level of understanding about the people they listen to.

Want to be more effective in your business and personal lives? Reduce the time you spend talking and increase the amount of time you spend listening. Take note, I mean truly listening, not just hearing. There is a big difference between the two. Stay focused on the speaker and paraphrase what they said to you. This shows you've understood what's been said and if you haven't, your paraphrasing will help the speaker see where clarification is needed.

Try it. You'll experience richer and more meaningful conversations.

Kennette Reed