Developing the skill of listening is essential to connection.

Posted: July 25, 2014 in Effective Networking, Gift of Connection Project
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Listening is a skill that I continue to work on because it’s a natural tendency for me to want to talk. My worst habit was cutting other people off in the middle of their sentences. If I thought I knew what the other person was about to say, I didn’t have patience to listen. I was trying to rush the conversation in order to voice my opinion or I was thinking of my response while they are talking instead of giving them my full attention. In a society like ours where multi-tasking is part of our routine, conversations can become rushed in order to finish the other tasks we must get accomplished that day.

Instead of giving the other person my undivided attention, I may be thinking about other things while they’re still speaking. I now realize how selfish I was being. As an effective communicator, being a good listener is an essential skill. If I expect other people to respect my opinion, I in turn must respect their opinions and give them the appropriate amount of time to express their thoughts.

Making the effort to be a conscious listener has taught me to slow down, make the time to value that person’s opinions, be more selfless in my conversations and be more observant to the non verbal cues they’re sending as well. When taking the time to listen, I’ve learned valuable lessons from other people’s experiences. It’s difficult to talk and learn at the same time. Listening has also helped me to really be in tune to that person’s needs from me by being emotionally available to connect with them.

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