Home    Subscribe    Write for Us    FAQ    Contact    HubGarden    Login

Listen Like You Mean it

by Jamie0liversgirl (follow)
Motivational (68)      Self Help & Improvement (68)     
Let’s begin with an anecdote. I recently overheard a conversation in which Woman One asked Woman Two how she was coping with work. As Woman two explained the woes of her spiralling workload, Woman One’s response was: “Yep, yep, yep” while simultaneously drumming her fingers on the desk, sending an email and booking two weeks in the Caribbean.



OK, so I made up that last bit, but the point is, Woman One definitely wasn’t listening. We’re all guilty of switching off at times but have we become poor listeners? One 2008 study concluded that the average attention span had dwindled to just five minutes, down from twelve minutes ten years earlier, while two separate studies last year found that teachers believe student attention spans have been adversely affected by technology. If you’re reading this with twenty tabs open, your phone flashing up a new message and the office phones ringing, you’ll understand it can be difficult to concentrate on what the person next to you is saying.

Part of the problem is that we’re out of practice. Technology has taken away the necessity to listen because so much of our communication is done over email and social media where we don’t need to listen.



Personally I'm guilty of 'switching off' when the other person is talking about something I have no (or think I have no) interest in.

However, good listening is the cornerstone of communication in relationships, whether personal or professional. It tells the other person you’re interested and that you value them. We relay so much information when we’re speaking, through words and emotions. If we’re switched off, we’re missing out.



So what makes a good listener? You need to focus your attention on the person who’s speaking. Make yourself put down your smartphone, close your inbox, switch off the TV and focus, which is easier said than done. It is easily ignored, but showing someone else you value their time, even if they're discussing something as mundane as the weather, shows you're a good friend.

It’s also possible to train yourself to be more attuned to sound. Practise listening to music with no lyrics. When there are lyrics we tend to make a film in our head of the story in the song, which is practising our visualising, rather than listening abilities. Body language is also crucial; eye contact, turning yourself towards the person speaking, not fiddling with the elastic bands on your desk, all indicate that you’re interested.



I try to maintain eye contact mostly because I'd like to be treated with the same respect and attention I give others.

But what happens when you’re struggling to concentrate because the conversation simply doesn’t interest you? There are two ways you can frame this situation. Firstly, you could frame the conversation around your relationship to the speaker. So it’s your mum and she’s holding forth on Coronation Street; she is your mum, she wants to talk to you and that’s why you should listen. On the other hand, you can think about what you might learn from the other person.



And when someone’s not listening to you? I tend to stop abruptly mid-sentence. That usually brings the other person back to the present.

Categories
#Motivational
#Self Help & Improvement
I like this Article - 6
[ print friendly ]
More Articles by Jamie0liversgirl
I've recently been reading by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson (Vermilion, £10
5 likes
Staying late at work has become the norm to such an extent that we often sit down to dinner at a...
9 likes
Facial scrubs can be expensive, and when your skin is congested it's all too easy to buy products wh...
5 likes
We've all had them: spots
11 likes
Kuri squash, kale and carrots are in season
6 likes
Satisfying your sweet tooth whilst managing your weight is a typical problem dieters face
7 likes
view all articles by Jamie0liversgirl
Articles by Jamie0liversgirl on Other Hubs
Here's an easy way to get kids to eat celery: put it in soup! This is slightly sweet, creamy, and a ...
89 views
ID: 3865
[ Submit a Comment ]
Trending Articles
I love making banana bread and finding ways involve the kids in the kitchen too
5 likes
People all around the world know how beneficial spinach can be
2 likes
Do you struggle with procrastination? If you are like the majority of people, the answer is probabl...
5 likes
Celery is a delicious crunchy vegetable that is unappetising when limp
5 likes
Did you know if you are not exfoliating, your skin is not as healthy as it could be? Exfoliating ...
6 likes
Can’t sleep? You are not alone
5 likes
At times we are faced by challenges that rock the core of who we are, our values and what we represe...
5 likes
Did you know that 90% of the most common form of cervical cancer can be prevented through regular ce...
5 likes
Probiotics are the “good” microorganisms beneficial to our body that can be consumed through ferment...
5 likes
Categories
Nutrition (268)
Vegan (122)
Skin Care (100)
How To (64)
Lists (61)
Hygiene (35)
Yoga (29)
 
Copyright 2012-2018 OatLabs ABN 18113479226. mobile version