Nope, it’s not a rhetorical question… but the answer is one I think we often forget. So, let’s look more closely. How many ears DO you have? I think the answer is two. Then I might ask, how many mouths do you have? To which I think you would answer: one. Okay, so if that’s the case, wouldn’t it stand to reason that we might ought to use them in proportion to each other and listen twice as much as we talk? Might that be the way that this whole communication thing was intended to work?
If you’re willing, let’s try some Contagious Communication™ oriented homework this week. Here’s your assignment:
Take note of how many times you REALLY listen or merely half listen and then respond.
Take note of how it feels when someone really listens to you and gives you all the time you need to get your point across. (I had a friend do this this week and the feeling of comfort and love and peace after the conversation was abundant. I felt complete and like I had been truly heard.)
Take note of the kind of response you get when you truly listen to someone. Is there more clarity? Less? More rapport building? Less?
Take note of how well you listen to those ever present voices in your head and what they say to you.
Take note of what happens when the voices in your head are screaming at you and you say “shush”. Did you wish you had done differently at a later date when the message they were sharing became more meaningful?
Listening is a skill, hearing is a gift. I mentioned this in Monday’s post and Monday Moment but with the speed with which our habits of listening take over and keep us from truly getting many messages, I thought it was worth repeating. The challenge is on for you to do your homework and let’s see what you find out this week about your own Contagious Communication™ skills.
Monica Wofford, MBA, CSP, is an international speaker, trainer, and author who helps managers who were promoted, actually become prepared to lead.