We often get so wrapped up in our own world, we forget to listen to others. When we fail to listen, we have ineffective communication . . . and ineffective communication leads to nothing good.
To listen effectively, start with being available to listen. That means taking time to listen to your employees, your customers, and your family. What’s important to them? What do they think? What are their needs, concerns, ideas, and solutions?
After becoming available, then be approachable. Have you ever wanted to talk to someone, but you felt uncomfortable approaching that person who seemingly didn’t want to be disturbed? Don’t let that someone be you.
Then while you’re listening, be present. Turn off all distractions, get focused, and hear what’s being said. If you’re thinking of what you will say when it’s your turn, you’re tuning out that person. Easy to say, hard to do. Listening takes discipline and practice.
Remember to listen effectively. Find ways to remind yourself to be available, approachable, and present.
You can do this. These quotes might help you:
“Silence is a source of great strength.”- Lao Tzu
“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.”- M. Scott Peck”
You learn when you listen. You earn when you listen-not just money, but respect.”- Harvey Mackay
“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.”- Larry King
“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought and attended to my answer.”- Henry David Thoreau