Listen Up!

listenupThe amount of trust that is built up in a relationship has a lot to do with listening skills.
So, if you want someone to trust you, do NOT discount how important it is to really
listen to them.

Everyone wants to be heard and listening has been shown to be the most improvable
skill that you have.

How do you listen well? Be quiet. Use body language to let the person know you are paying
attention to them. Respond occasionally with a nod of your head or a simple "uh huh". Stay
focused on the conversation, that means no texting, no doodling, no wandering of your eyes
or feet. This is not the time to multitask! You can ask a question to clarify or get more information,
but not too many questions and nothing that may appear judgmental. A good way to show that
you are listening is to repeat back some of what a person is saying.

Tips on what not to do when you are listening to someone include: asking excessive questions, judging or criticizing, offering advice or solving their
problem, changing the subject, interjecting your own experience, assuming the speaker feels the way you would in that situation, being overly reassuring,
forming what you want to say while the person is still talking.

Good listening can lead to many benefits like courtesy, kindness, honesty and trust. Bad listening, or not listening at all, can lead to disrespect, bossiness, sarcasm and a lack of trust. Which would you rather have? Which would you rather give?

Role play good listening skills with a partner
Spend a few minutes thinking about a problem you are trying or solve or a challenge you are trying to address. Be prepared to describe this situation in
detail including any potential solutions you are considering. Sit down with a partner and start talking. At the end, discuss with them how their listening
skills made
you feel. Switch roles.



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