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Do you ever catch yourself asking someone their name right after you meet them?  Were you really focused and listening?


Here are some tips on enhancing your listening skills.  Feel free to share your good and not so good experiences.

Don’t think about your response while the other person is talking.  Do you ever notice as soon as the speaker is finished talking, the other person automatically has a response?  Often, this automatic response has nothing to do with the speaker’ conversation.  Check it out for yourself next time you observe people having a conversation.


The challenge is to listen without forming a bias and waiting until the speaker has completed their discussion to understand fully what they are saying.  After you reflect on this for a moment, then you can share your response.


Never assume (we all like this one).  If the comment is “I require this right away” does this mean within the hour? today? tomorrow? sometime this year? Ask for clarification and you will be surprised how many times your assumption may be incorrect.


Focus on the listener and avoid the distractions.  Look at the speaker.  Make eye contact including online meetings!  Break the habit of looking at your phone or other distractions around you.


Do you rephrase what the other person is saying to ensure you have a fully understanding of what they are saying?  Listening is a lifelong skill set most of us keep working on.  Communication can be a wonderful thing if all parties are fully present and effectively listening.

In the virtual world with texts, e-mail, phone calls and online meetings, effective listening is more important to help each other.   Looking forward to hearing some of your experiences of effective listening and some lessons learned.

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