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Fw: *~Spiritually Speaking~* Create A Listening Environment & Impact Your World!

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  • Patti Garrett
    Hello once again everyone: I loved this Lisa message today because I learned the power of listening to other people many years ago. Not only can you learn a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 18, 2005
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      Hello once again everyone:
       
      I loved this Lisa message today because I learned the power of listening to other people many years ago.  Not only can you learn a lot about other people, if you are willing to listen, but you can also learn a lot about yourself.  While I talk a lot and write long messages, I am still a good listener.  And when I used to fly a lot from Washington, DC, many times I would be on a plane and would learn the entire life story of my seat mate without ever revealing anything about myself, simply because I was willing to listen and knew the right questions to ask.
       
      So if you are not skilled at listening to others around you, try it and see what happens.  You might be pleasantly surprised at how the experience will affect you.
       
      Peace, love, light and angel hugs,
       
      Patti
       
       
      ----- Original Message -----
       
      Subject: *~Spiritually Speaking~* Create A Listening Environment & Impact Your World!

      Create A Listening Environment & Impact Your World!

      by Cindy Torkelson

      "The greatest problem with communication is the illusion that it occurred."

      ~ D.W. Davenport

      Oral communication is a primary attribute in the evolution of our species. No question other animals communicate, but our communication is notable in what it allows us to accomplish in our complicated, often hectic, existence. Exchanging information is a crucial aspect of daily human life – obviously playing a significant role in how we relate to others. But expressing ourselves effectively is only half of the process – the other half is listening to what others are saying. Just as communication isn’t simply the words spilling out of our mouths, listening is not a passive act. It’s a dynamic, active process involving hearing plus understanding.

      Unfortunately, most of us are poor listeners. Research over the last 20 years consistently shows that most of us listen at less than a 30% level, meaning we miss over 70% of what is conveyed. Of course, this also infers that our own attempts at communicating are often useless, almost three out of four times! So it’s no wonder we are often left frustrated and confused in our daily connections with others, whether it be our bosses, co-workers, partners, children, doctors, lawyers, or mentors. It’s also no surprise that listening is considered a top business skill; many organizations actually offer training programs to enhance their executives’ and employees’ listening skills.

      People spend most of the day in some form of communication, and the biggest part of it is spent listening. Yet these are complex abilities that we often take for granted. Just like anything else, we develop bad habits that go unrecognized. But we can intentionally evolve – develop skill and mastery – by understanding the sources of difficulty, minimizing them and improving our awareness.

      Our topic or intention, as the speaker, is poorly prepared.

      We should be thoughtful about our messages, being certain that what we have to say is clear as well as succinct. When we simply say what’s on our minds, we risk saying too much, not saying enough, or becoming redundant. Taking the time to focus on and plan our communication, preemptively, insures that we include all the necessary information without losing our listeners’ attention. In addition, it’s important to include what it is we want from the listener – action, advice, support, sympathy or change in behavior. Doing this at the start activates their listening and keeps them focused.

      As listeners, our own minds are talking to us at the same time we’re receiving, so we’re distracted by our ‘head conversation’ vs. paying attention to the speaker.

      People ‘think’ much faster than they can listen and so, as this time lapse occurs, we either begin anticipating what will be said or what our response should be – in effect, internally commenting on what we’re hearing. And sometimes our minds just wander off while waiting for the message to end. Regardless of what happens, the simple fact is we cannot pay attention to anything else when we’re listening to our own minds speak to us; this, in and of itself, dramatically reduces what and how much we hear. Being aware of this by actively ‘turning the mind off’ is an action we should consistently practice in order to be fully attentive in any conversation.

      Our assumptions about what the other person is saying are mistaken.

      As humans we often (and mistakenly) assume that how we think – formed out of our experiences, opinions, or beliefs – is how others must think as well. But our perceptions, which become the filters of our listening, are usually completely different from someone else’s. Unrealized, this can cause much confusion in our ability to accurately perceive what’s being conveyed and can lead to misunderstanding as well as inappropriate or reaction-based responses. Before assuming we understand where someone is ‘coming from’ as they are communicating, we should stop and question our own awareness of what we’re hearing. Better to assume that we know nothing as we’re listening, than to presume we know it all already.

      Active listening involves both a speaker and a listener.

      Typically, as we speak, we are only paying attention to our own agendas. But just because we’ve expressed our wants, feelings, thoughts or opinions doesn’t mean the message is conveyed successfully. In order to insure our efforts are not wasted, we need to recognize that the intention is only half of the process – the other half is how it ‘lands’ over there. If you want to be heard, take the listener into consideration when planning the overall tone, the location, or the emotions that may come into play. Be attentive during the conversation – watch for verbal and non-verbal cues; pay attention to body language, facial expressions, and eye contact. Keep in mind that a person may be a good listener in one environment (on the job) and a poor listener in another environment (with your family).

      Actively listening to another person is a powerful acknowledgement and profound gift. When we are truly heard, we experience safety, healing, respect, dignity – plus are more willing to listen back. When people don't listen effectively, the results are mistakes and misunderstandings as well as stress, tension, friction and lost opportunities. By taking action to increase our skill, we enhance the probability of being more successful in our individual interactions. More importantly, we should share responsibility for the success of the communication whether we are the listener or the speaker. In doing so, we create a better human environment that enriches us all.

      © Cynthia L. Torkelson 2001. A Partner For Profitability and Peace of Mind. Providing coaching to business owners and executives, as well as individuals with personal life-shift issues, for over a decade. She can be reached at: (919) 493-0629 or BizLessons@....

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