Listening or Reloading?
Think about the last conversation you had and how you felt afterwards. Was it one-sided or was there a genuine sharing of ideas and opinions? Did you learn something? Were both of you actually listening?
Having a meaningful conversation
with someone takes effort, especially in our culture where everyone is too busy, too opinionated, and too distracted by technology. Who hasn’t interrupted a conversation to take a call or look at a text? Do know people who are self-righteous to the point of refusing to listen to other opinions? Can we truly understand the experiences of others when we’re only thinking about getting our point of view into the conversation? How can we learn to compromise unless we truly listen?
A Great TED Talk by Celeste Headlee,
who explains how she uses her professional interview skills as a guideline for having engaging conversations. Since we converse every day with ALL kinds of people who don’t necessarily share our beliefs, there is much to be gained by improving our ability to speak with one another. When people are divisive and refuse to learn other points of view, their ability to be compassionate is gone. They won’t try to understand or compromise. They shut people out.
Let’s not be those people by taking to heart a few of Celeste’s interview tips, which will help us have meaningful conversations:
-Don’t pontificate or repeat yourself, it is condescending.
-Ask open-ended questions and let them describe their thoughts.
-Don’t worry about all the details, they don’t matter and get in the way of your description of your feelings.
-Listening to hear and understand, don’t spend that time trying to come up with a smart response.
-Don’t make their story about you by relating a similar situation you had.
-No multitasking. Self explanatory.
The following is a popular quote from a deleted scene in Pulp Fiction that is perfect for this topic:
Mia: In conversation, do you listen or wait to talk?
Conversation is give and take. Everyone has something to share, which means that everyone has something to learn. Let’s go beyond appearing to listen so we can connect and improve relationships with every conversation we have.
Thom Torode, MBA, is an EOS® (Entrepreneurial Operating System) Implementer, Traction Coach, Certified Business & Leadership Coach, and is part of the John Maxwell Team as a Certified Coach, Teacher and Speaker. If you would like to explore how building your team can help impact your profits, Thom has a limited number of coaching sessions available this month. Click here for information.