POSITIVE PLAN #3 for me is to listen carefully to others before I speak. It’s the highest form of respect to hear others – not just sort of listen and immediately begin to speak. We all want to be heard, especially by friends and family. Would I be writing a blog if I didn’t want to be heard? Well… probably not.
To speak and to speak well are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks. – Ben Jonson
Miscommunications can be avoided and hurt feelings are not as likely to be an issue if the people interacting are actually hearing one another before they speak. I want to show more respect for my family and friends this year. This is also helpful advice for those in the workplace. We have relationships with employers, co-workers, vendors and the all important clients and patrons. If we have good relationships with one another, regardless of the circumstance, it has a direct impact on the bottom line.
Most of us have a tendency to think of what we want to say while someone is trying to talk to us. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to do that, but if you can focus more on listening to their contribution to the conversation and less on how you are going to respond, it would be a better idea.
Here’s a reason to listen intently… you may actually LEARN something! Yeah – it’s true. What a concept!
I’m not suggesting that we ignore what’s being said to us on purpose. I think it’s human nature to think ahead about what we’re going to say in response. We don’t want to say anything that will sound stupid, so we scrutinize our response to ourselves to make sure it sounds reasonable and logical.
Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk. – Doug Larson
Listening on purpose doesn’t happen naturally, rather it’s a learned behavior. Fortunately, with God’s help we can re-train our automatic method of communicating and make it more effective. Great bosses are good listeners and a pleasure to work with and for because those employees feel they are heard and understood; more to the point, employees believe the boss takes a genuine interest in what interests them. It’s an all around good relationship.