How often does someone have to do something over because they didn't listen the first time? If you have kids then the number of times that comes to mind is greater than the average. There is an under-appreciated value in listening skills. When you listen to someone at a party and ask relevant questions you will likely be viewed as a great conversationalist. When you do most of the talking you will likely view the other person as a great conversationalist.
Why is such value placed on listening skills? We think listening is valued not only because people want to be heard, but because when you listen, time is saved. You save the person from having to repeat themselves. You save yourself the time of researching something. If you listen with intent to understand you gain valuable knowledge about the person you are interacting with. The customer that you listen to with intent to understand; you are better able to help solve their need.. The employee you listen to to understand; you are better able to lead because you know where they are coming from. The spouse you listen to with intent to understand; you are more able to communicate with. Take time to hone your listening skills... Listening is a crucial part of good relationships.
"Most people do not listen with intent to understand. Most people listen with intent to reply."
Or is it taking the time to connect? Do you talk WITH people or do you talk AT people? Are you taking the time to listen to what people are really saying? You may be surprised at what you hear.
Alan Weiss puts it rather succinctly "We are vanity publishers on social media, voicemail leavers and retrievers, email bumblebees. We tend to deal in messages, not communication." Where has the art of conversation gone? People sit in the same room and communicate via text message!? This should be absurd; but it's a widely accepted practice.
The radio this morning was discussing the practice of "phone stacking;" which is when everyone puts their phone in a stack at the table for the duration of dinner, drinks, coffee, etc. Whoever touches their phone during the meal or meeting has to but dinner, drinks, etc. If no one "breaks down" and touches their phone then the meal is evenly split.
We encourage people to stop playing candy crush, turn off the TV, try phone stacking, and start to really connect with people!