“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” ~ Stephen R. Covey
Many years ago, I remembered the day my son told me I wasn’t a good listener. Huh? Me? Are you serious? I thought, as I zoned out and just saw his mouth moving.
He’ll tell me I would jump in on his sentences, saving him from actually finishing them.
He wasn’t the only one who told me that.
I admit it. I used to be quite bad at listening when other people spoke. I sometimes zoned out. I got distracted, or I was thinking about the next thing I was going to say before they were done talking. Not very helpful. So I had to change…and I did.
• Hey, anyone will tune out when someone is droning on and on and on, so I learned to interrupt in a gracious but effective way. Grab onto something that they’ve said, and jump off from that. That way it’s clear I heard them, and it feels like the conversation is transitioning naturally.
• Looking everywhere except at the person talking can make it seem like I was not listening, and then the conversation suffers. So I tend to keep eye-contact with the person. Not in an uncomfortable way, of course.
• The hardest part was trying not to do things while others talked.
My son called me the other night, and in that instant, I turned off the computer to talk with him.
During our conversation, he asked me:
“Mom, are you still there”?
“Yes, I’m here”.
“I thought you weren’t there”.
“I’m still here”
“There’s silence on your end”.
“It’s because I’m listening to you”.🤦🏻♀️