Communication

The art of effective listening

Health Industry Hub | March 16, 2019 |
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Listening is an art, it is absolutely true. Unfortunately, it’s somewhat a lost art. Few do it well, in fact. It seems to be a very simple concept but challenging to implement. Most of us have a conversation and are guilty of limited reflection. We immediately rephrase the question or remark and answer it ourselves instead of giving the other person time for formulating a response. In other words, since we rarely stop talking, we don’t give ourselves a chance to listen.

The second challenge is that, while waiting for another’s response, we often don’t fully grasp or understand what they are saying, because we’re so busy attempting to answer what we presume they’re going to say. We want to be seen as always ready for any question or comment with a snappy comeback. The difficulty of all this is that we are overlooking so much information that is essential and invaluable.

Here’s a tip on listening. Before you come back with a response, count to eight. I’ve been guilty of taking over a conversation and I knew that I had spoken too quickly and cut off the other person’s reply. It will seem like an eternity, but it will be emotionally intelligent and give the other person a chance to engage in the interaction. It creates credibility and respect. Not only does this expand the opportunities for communication, but you also allow yourself to learn something new. 

The art of listening starts with being quiet. After all, LISTEN and SILENT are spelled with the same letters.


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