Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Active Listening-A Lost Art

In this day and age multi-tasking is expected. It's virtually impossible to get anything accomplished without juggling six balls at once. Who only uses one Window or Tab at a time when working online? Not me. I don't even use one cell phone app. at a time. Sad.
Oftentimes giving so much of ourselves simultaneously, means that we're not present for some of the moments that we're trying to be productive. Sounds counterintuitive, right?
One of my biggest pet peeves is having to repeat myself multiple times. This is a sign (to me) that I'm not being heard, or more specifically listened to. For the record, it is possible to hear without listening. I can hear a noise outside my house, but not be able to recognize or decipher the sound if I'm not actively listening to/for that noise. (That may not be the best example, but it's the best I can do at 8 a.m.)
I've created a cue card for our family that details "How To Listen":
1. Stop what you're doing.
2. Look at the speaker.
3. Stop or pause your thoughts.
4. Summarize or confirm what you've heard.
5. Respond if appropriate.
* Use what you heard as a reference in the near future.

I, too, am guilty of not always being the best listener. This will be a point of reference for me as well. Will it cure our listening disorder? Of course not! if it only makes us more aware of how inattentive we are, that's a start!

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