An Essential Life Skill

People process life through conversation. The greatest problem with communication is that we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply.

Listening to understand is an essential life skill for every human being.

Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said that Habit #5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood, was the most important habit for his own professional success.

“When you really listen to another person from their point of view, and reflect back to them that understanding, it’s like giving them emotional oxygen.” ~ Dr. Stephen R. Covey

  • As a leader, it’s important to listen and pay attention deeply for understanding.
  • As a parent, it’s important to listen and pay attention deeply for understanding.
  • As a friend, it’s important to listen and pay attention deeply for understanding.
  • As a spouse, it’s important to listen and pay attention deeply for understanding.
  • As a team member, it’s important to listen and pay attention deeply for understanding.

A tip to enhance your listening is to ask questions you don’t know the answer to…and then be quiet.

Learn to sit and not talk or respond. Practice silence. Give the other person time to talk.

Did you realize that the word LISTEN contains the same letters as the word SILENT?

Listening is such a simple act. It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don’t have to do anything else. We don’t have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen.” ~ Margaret J. Wheatley

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