I’ve never considered myself a good listener, because if I meet you for the first time and you tell me your name, I probably won’t remember it correctly because I’m thinking of my next question or response to you. I’ve worked at this for a long time and I may very well be improving. Listening is a crucial part of communication with our family, friends, clients, customers, colleagues…everyone.
I once heard a preacher say that the good Lord gave us two ears and one mouth, so we should get a clue – we must listen twice as much as we speak. I believe that it is of paramount importance that we learn to listen attentively and actively to those seeking to communicate with us.
I mentioned this at sales meeting this past week and later one of my partners reminded me that we have 4 listening devices. Not only do we have two ears, but we have two eyes! Listening for the “non-verbal” communication is huge and cannot be overstated. Sometime people will speak with their body language something that never comes out of their mouth. If we have all our listening devices working – we will catch all the facets of the communication between those and ourselves we are communicating with.
Listening is a skill to be learned not necessarily a gift that others don’t have. I do think that some people learn listening faster than others, but there is certainly an art to it. I want to be a better listener because then I will be a better communicator.