Listen To Understand, Not to Respond

I’ve always been a fan of podcasts and magazine articles that offer tidbits of insight of doing things better. Most have been great, but it’s not much mind blowing material. However, if I piece together bits and nuggets of advice given, there’s a common theme. It is to be present and mindful.

I recently subscribed to Jim Kwik’s “Kwik Brain” podcast.  His lesson on building your memory skills is great and is easy to incorporate into your daily life.  My big takeaway is: if you are trying to remember someone’s name that you have just met, you have to be engaged and present when you speak to them.

I’ve also been listening to Brendon Bouchard on “High Performance Habits”, and his points is to clearly defining where you are right now, and to be crystal clear about where you want to be.

Louise Hay & Wayne Dwyer speak about gratitude, and how they wake up in the morning and they are thankful for their body, their mind, their lives, even their bed and pillows.  You have to be uber mindful to engage in this activity.

So it’s no surprise that this includes being present to listen.  Many times we are engaged in a conversation where people are talking above each other or even interrupting each other.  It’s almost like we need to have “the” answer or banter immediately.  As this was brought to my attention, I decided to stop talking so much, stop daydreaming during the conversation, and really focus and listen to what someone is saying.  I will tell you that the retention rate of my conversations as well as the ability to accurately repeat what someone has told me has been significantly higher/better.

AND I will tell you that the folks I am talking with seem to emulate this behavior once they catch on, and it yields a much more robust conversation.  Sometimes, I even stop speaking when someone picks up their phone to check it.  What could be more important than someone sitting right in front of you that you scheduled time to talk with and be with?

In this time of immediate responses, likes, instant notifications, etc., etc., wouldn’t it be awesome to listen to understand?  And even better, wouldn’t it be truly special if someone was really listening to you & understood?

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