Quote: "You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time." --M. Scott Peck
Have you ever been talking to someone and they were looking in another direction and not at you? They seemed to be per-occupied with what the people across the room were saying. What were your feelings at the moment? You more than likely thought; this conversation is not very important and I wonder why I am wasting my time. You probably also thought about it long after the conversation was over, and even wish you had not put yourself into the position of being ignored.
This happens too often with individuals who are not living in the moment and who have not learned how to listen. Every conversation is important, or it should be.
Learning to listen requires skills just like any other personal growth improvement. If we could place ourselves in the situation above; we would more than likely try to remember not being heard is not a pleasant feeling.
Quote: " If we dare listen well, we just might find out that someone is just as important and knows just as much, even more than we do." this author
Listening Skills requires the following:
- Eye contact
- Watching a person’s emotions, hand movements, and stance
- Being able to ask questions that will give answers to what has not been said
- Learning the difference in giving constructive suggestions without being critical
- Learn to discuss without arguing
- Learning how to portray leadership without saying; “I’m the boss”
- Learning to treat others the way you would want to be treated if you were trying to express yourself
- Thinking before you speak
Quote: "A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with." –Kenneth A. Wells
If a person isn't listening; they sometimes will just shake their head in response, and pretend they agree with what you have said. They are looking around the room, not at you, and they actually do not know if they agree or not. The sound of a voice was heard; not the words of what were said; in other words they have no clue what you said, and more times than not; probably agreed to something they do not agree with at all. Their interest was in the conversation they could overhear standing next to them; not you. This is not good listening skills and nothing that was said got in further than in one ear and out the other. It did not go through the brain, if it had they would be able to recall what was said when they are reminded they agreed with you. So often people will just up and walk away from a full conversation because they see someone more interesting they want to talk to.
Eye contact is mandatory because it gives the person speaking the attention they deserve and the attention you would want if the position were reversed. If you are looking at someone you can see their emotions and better understand the meaning of the words that are being said. You can tell by eye contact, hand movement and stance if they are truly saying what is relevant to the conversation or if their own mind is distracted.