That sounds simple. It’s not.
At least not for me.
I find myself more focused on being understood than in understanding.
Does that sound like you?
Here’s the crux of the problem.
Communication IS the relationship.
Think about it.
Without good communication you can’t have a relationship, personally or in business.
Stephen Covey was the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. One of his quotes was:
“The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand.”
He also said:
“You can’t feel what you hear if you are having your own internal conversation.”
I admit I often find myself listening and talking to myself in my head to determine my next reply,
or analyzing what was said rather than being focused on merely absorbing it.
I’m not feeling what the other person is feeling because I’m in my own head.
I need to stay curious and be an active listener.
By asking questions in a tone of voice that shows I care what’s being said, and opening the door for them to reveal more.
Asking “Why do you think that happened?” or “What did you do today?” to open things up, not “How was your day?” or “How are you doing?” to receive the usual “Fine.”
And keeping my inner thoughts and voice quiet.
I need to be listening with an empathetic ear rather than a critical one.
Being a great active listener takes a lifetime of practice.
And worth every minute.
Because when you listen, truly listen where you can feel what’s being said, you then truly understand.
You’ve communicated in a way that creates, fertilizes and maintains relationships.
And relationships are what really matters.
So my challenge to you this week is make a concerted effort at Active Listening.
Because when you listen to understand, not to be understood, you develop incredible relationships – both personally and professionally.
And I’ll see YOU at the next 2MMM