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  • Writer's pictureBob Prentice


Listening is learning, so it's vital to focus on the communicator during any conversation.

I want to “tune in,” much like turning a radio dial to understand and absorb the speaker's words, attitude, and body language. To accomplish this most effectively, let me share these points.

To me, good listening means ...

  • I am making good eye contact with the speaker;

  • I have put all other distractions aside;

  • I am taking notes when necessary;

  • I ask questions;

  • I play it back to the other person to confirm and clarify that I have heard the speaker correctly.

Nothing here that isn't just plain common sense and showing respect for others, and yet we all need to be reminded from time to time, don't we?

There are numerous benefits to cultivating the skill of being a good listener: It will save time, reduce stress, create goodwill and build relationships. So how about taking a little check-up to see where you might need a slight improvement. Ask yourself these questions to determine how well you do listen to others.

  • Do I interrupt others during conversations?

  • Do I rush people who have input or ask you for advice?

  • Do I think ahead when others are talking?

  • Do I finish people's sentences for them?

  • Do I multitask when listening to others?

  • Do I forget the names of people you've just met?

  • Do I spend more time crafting answers than formulating questions before meetings?

Every "YES" answer gives you an opportunity for growth in this listening area. How did you do? Be honest.

People know that I love to talk and speak at meetings and such. This attitude of listening is a daily commitment I make to myself and others to be the best that I can be. Take a leap this year and tune in and turn on your ears.

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