download  “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen

twice as much as we speak.”

~ Epictetus


We’ve all been there…we’re trying to relate a story to someone who isn’t listening.

It could be because they’re formulating what it is they’d like to say next, it could be that their eyes are on their phone instead, or it could be that we’ve been talking too long. Whatever the case may be, everyone loves a good listener.

It’s important that we begin teaching our children at a very young age that it’s very important to actually pay attention to what someone is saying to them.  At their age, it can be a matter of avoiding danger.  Good listeners are taught.

A few tricks to learn, even at an advanced age, are these:

1. Lean in and listen – engage with the speaker with your eyes and body language.

2. Remove all distractions – no phones, ipads, etc.  Fully engage.

3. Wait for the speaker to finish speaking.  Don’t interrupt.

4. Stop formulating what you’re going to say next – you can’t really listen otherwise.

5. Ask questions.  It lets them know that you’ve heard them.

6. Clarify.  “So what you are saying is…”

7. If you are on the phone with the speaker – turn away from the tv or computer.

8. Don’t dominate the conversation.  You should hear their voice more often than yours.

9. Wait two seconds to respond.  They may not be finished.

10. Don’t change the subject.

These are simple steps to follow and will make a big difference in the way you are approached by others.  When you are tagged as a good listener, you become a desired friend.

I don’t think it’s an accident that the words “listen” and “silent” contain the same letters.


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