Monday, April 21, 2008

How To Become a Better Listener

How many times are you in the company of a person who just can't wait for you to stop talking because they have something more important to say than you? You may find it very interesting to know that that in the world of communicating, only 7% is accomplished by the spoken word. With that said the other two components are facial gestures--55% and other body language 37%. Listening is without a doubt the most essential part of the communication process. Many people claim to be good listeners and the way we convince others of this is to be reflective of the phrase," People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care". Let that resonate with others when being in their company. There are a lot of right fighters in this world. No matter what, they have to have the last word in every exchange or show you how you are wrong. Somehow, that is the way they have been taught to engage others. They can choose to be right or they can be happy, it is clearly their choice. There is a higher level of functioning and to just be "in the moment" with another person, sharing all of who you are and what you are about, is key to long lasting relationships. There is an acronym I tripped over a long time ago which makes incredible amount of sense regarding how to listen. The word is L.A.D.D.E.R. If you and I stood in front of one another, leaning in, foreheads touching, hands on top of one anothers shoulders; we could look as if we were forming the shape of a ladder. Here is what the acronym stands for, in regards to being attentive with each other. L--look at the other person. Let them know you are there for them. A--ask questions. This way you are engaging them to fully understand what they are saying. D--Do not change the subject. You are being trusted with a very pertinent part of this person's life and constantly changing the subject will change your relationship. D--Do not interrupt. They have a train of thought to share with you and please let them finish it. E--Empathy. Bring empathy to this moment in support of what all is being talked about. R--Respond verbally or non verbally. Your very response, which ever way you choose in the moment will validate their position, themself as an individual and strenthen your connection with one another. Listening will always communicate your understanding, trust, support and emphasis you place, on how much you regard the other person. The openness and accceptance you have to teach in the moment, will help them do the very same thing, as they begin to pay it forward with others. Wouldn't you love to be the author of teaching that lesson?

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