Stay committed to the conversation.
I find we are all in such a hurry to go from one thing to the next that no is listening. ” oh I heard you” someone will say …. but did they really?
There is an art it seems to listening.
First, you must be aware of the reality that the person talking is trying to communicate. They are trying to tell you something. They are not just rambling to hear themselves talk. Yes, I know there are some people out there that do talk just to hear themselves speak. But I’m not talking about them.
Second, you must commit to the conversation: meaning you must be willing to listen with intent- regardless of how uncomfortable or how much you don’t want to hear what is being said.
Third, stop thinking about your response. Your time will come. But you must listen and understand what is being said to you before your response can be cultivated to be appropriate for the conversation at hand.
Fourth, after listening respond back what was said to you. Meaning repeat back what the other person said. This will show interest, confirmation, and an attempt to understand.
Last, but definitely not least, you’ve listened, you’ve heard, you’ve repeated it back- now it’s time to take the information that’s been given and process. Processing is the most important part of this, as processing the information will allow you a chance to give appropriate response. Sometimes no response is appropriate. Other times a response can be anywhere from “I’m not ready to respond at this time but i will respond later” or, give a response in order to continue the conversation. I want to encourage you that if your response is “I’m not ready to respond at this time” please give the person an idea of when you will be able to respond, a promise of response is a commitment to finish a conversation.
Communication is really what we’re talking about. Its kind of like playing ball: I throw the ball to you, you catch the ball and throw it back. You cannot have a game of ball if there are two people who are not committed to play.
I encourage you today to get out there and prepare for the conversation. Be ready when someone has something to say to you. Look them in the face. Actually stop, take a moment, listen, stop what you’re doing and give them your full attention.
In this moment you can make a difference. You only have this moment, there is nothing else but this moment.