Are you listening? Is something I find myself asking my little girl regularly, as I am sure many of us with young children do, and it got me thinking about how well I listen. We have all had conversations with people who you think aren't really listening, or that they are only listening to interject. As a coach, I know just how important it is to really listen, to identify what is the actual situation my coachee if trying to address. What is their reality and how is that impacting their ability to achieve their goal. The same is true in most conversations; they have a purpose. We are trying to articulate something be that our opinion or idea or to share something. To ensure these conversations are as productive as possible, we need to ensure we are listening. There are three simple tips which will enable you to make your communications more impactful. Listen to understand, not to interject As the adage says we have two ears and one mouth, and we should use them all equally. Next time you are having a conversation, stop for a moment and really listen, not think about your response. What is the person speaking wanting, what are they saying and almost as importantly, what are they not saying? It is both of these that will determine the point of the conversation and help you to have a successful conversation. Be present One of the most impactful things you can do is to be present, to be genuinely interested in the other person, to hear their story and give them your time. We all have a story, and we all want someone else to listen to it and make us feel valued, make us feel important and make us feel listened to. Show appreciation We all know how hard it can be to share our opinion, to raise a concern or to question what is happening. In the compare and despair society, we live in fear of other, people's opinion (FOPO) can be crippling. When someone takes the time to share their thoughts, to give you their advice or to share their story, whether you agree with them or not, you should appreciate them for making an effort to engage. Without engagement, we won't learn or grow, and we miss the opportunity to make connections, and for these to evolve to successful relationships. You will be amazed at the impact As Maya Angelou says “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” We all of us have that person that made a real difference in our lives, the one that listened to us, made us feel valued and encouraged us to keep going. Remember for a moment how that made you feel and the impact it had. How do you feel knowing you could be that person for someone else? It is effortless to do. It is in our gift, and the beauty is we can start right now. Every single one of us can go out there and truly listen, understand what the real point of the conversation is and empower the person to be understood. Enabling them to leave feeling listened to, valued, appreciated and understood. You will be amazed at the impact it has, on your life and theirs.
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