Listening to others seems to be a lost art for most of us these days. It seems we’re all very interested in getting our point of view across to others, but seldom take the time to hear what others might be thinking.
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a conversation just waiting for the person talking to take a breath so you can jump in and share your point of view? Have you ever listened to your children with your ears closed already knowing what you’re going to say before you’ve even heard them out?
Half of being a good conversationalist is having the ability to be a good listener. If all you do when conversing with others is try to put forth your point of view, you will eventually find your words having the same effect on you as theirs have had on you; “none”.
Conversation is a big part of developing relationships with others, and is a give and take proposition. If you do all the talking and constantly dominate the conversation, you may have the greatest advice or ideas in the world; and will find that they fall on deaf ears.
When you don’t take the time to listen to others, you make them feel as if they and their ideas aren’t very important to you; therefore they’re not very important to you. Not only is that a conversation killer, but a relationship killer as well.
For some of us who seem to always have something to say and a strong desire to say it, listening can be a challenge. But, if we are to be great communicators, we need to learn to slow down and be open to what others have to say. Remember, speaking is only half of being a good conversationalist, the other half is listening.