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Do You Really Listen?

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This year I’ve been working on being a better listener. This seems like a simple goal but in a world, full of technology, noise coming from every direction, and work/life pressures, I find it hard to really listen even when I have the best of intentions.

Here is what you can do if, like me, you really, really want to listen to the people you care about:

  1. Be mentally pro-active – figure out what might occupy or invade your thoughts (your parking meter running out, an email you are expecting from your boss) and create a plan to take care of that while you spend time with another person.
  2. Be physically pro-active with self-care – if you are hungry, really tired, or have to use the washroom, there is no way you can listen as carefully as you would like to. Take care of yourself. Do what you need to do ahead of time to be physically ready to listen.
  3. When the other person is speaking, try hard not to think of a response. I love this line: Listening – it’s not just waiting for your turn to speak. If you feel yourself busting with excitement to share something, you’ve probably just stopped listening to them. Instead, imagine yourself trying to hear their words and uncover their unexpressed thoughts and worries around their statements.
  4. Remove technology. I know this is not a popular suggestion. However, I can assure you that in years past, we got along just fine without knowing the very latest about everything that is going on with our family and friends – and sometimes that is a good thing! If necessary, tell your speaking partner you need to check your phone every half hour for urgent messages, but other than that, remove the technology from your sight.

Can you imagine how much better our world would be if we all just listened to one another better? I believe the results would be amazing.

“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” Bernard M. Baruch

Upcoming Community Courses:  

– Public Speaking Boot Camp – Thursday May 4, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Register via Westshore Parks and Recreation: 250-478-8384.  Cost $60.  Course code:  110947. Click here to request information.

Learn to Mingle – Wednesday May 10, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Register via Westshore Parks and Recreation: 250-478-8384.  Cost:  $40.  Course code:  111370. Click here to request to request information. 

The Art of Small Talk – Saturday May 13, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Register via Eventbrite: Click here to request information.