I want you to think of a time when you were speaking to someone who you just knew wasn’t listening.
Chances are, you didn’t have to dig too far in your memory bank to come up with one.
How’d you feel? Frustrated? Annoyed? Disrespected?
What about a time where you weren’t listening to someone who was speaking to you.
Again, probably not hard to think of one.
How do you think they felt? … Frustrated? Annoyed? Disrespected?
In the first example, you probably assumed that the other person was rude and disrespectful because they weren’t listening to you. But, in the second example, you were probably more likely to blame external factors, such as, that you were in the middle of something important and that they shouldn’t have interrupted you.
This is called The Fundamental Attribution Error. Basically, you make excuses for yourself based on external factors, but hold others fully accountable for their actions.
If you’re in the middle of something and you get interrupted, you have 2 choices – either tell the person you’re busy and ask to speak later, or stop what you’re doing and give them your full attention.
If you say ‘yes’ when someone asks to chat and then you don’t listen, that’s on you.
Now, let’s say that you actually are listening to someone when they speak to you, how can you show that you’re actively listening?
What makes you feel someone is listening to you?
Eye contact, asking questions, nodding, laughing, not interrupting, etc.
It’s all pretty basic stuff.
… so why don’t we do it often enough, *|FNAME|*?
When someone is telling us something really important, especially if they are someone we care about, we usually make an effort to listen. We stop what we’re doing, we turn toward them, we remove distractions and we really listen.
So, what’s the difference between that scenario and all the other ones when we don’t actively listen?
Next time someone asks to talk, remember your 2 choices – speak now or speak later.
If you choose to speak now, really choose it.
I guarantee it’ll strengthen the relationship and it’ll make you feel good too.
PS – Do you want to improve your listening skills? Our next Effective Listening & Questioning session is on Tuesday 9th May. For only $300, you’ll walk away armed with the skills to be a better listener and ask better questions. Places are limited as we’re only offering 3 of these sessions all year, so secure your spot before you miss out!