SkillToolkit

40 years of listening

By January 4, 2012 No Comments

Early this morning, I was going through some of my Mom’s and Dad’s old files and I found my Kindergarten report card. The last item was “Listens well.” The categories were “Always, Often and Seldom.” You can guess which one I got!

That got me thinking about the skill of listening. I was a rambunctious kid, and I’m a rambunctious adult, but I do think I’ve learned a bit about listening (maybe I’ve moved up the scale to “Often”).

How are we supposed to “listen” to someone? I think one of the secrets lies in the pause. If you can be comfortable with silence, it allows you to formulate meaningful questions as you engage in conversation.

I teach the skill of asking “impact” questions, but I think the equally important skill is what happens in the silence after a response. We all need to take a breath, relax and give the response room to sink in. Speaking of relaxing, isn’t it nap time?

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