If you're ready to improve the most important relationships in your personal and professional life, I encourage you to take part one of The Relationship Challenge.
The Relationship Challenge: Part One
Become a Better Listener
This month, make a conscious effort to become a better listener in every conversation you have in your workplace, with your family and in your community by turning off your phone, shutting down your laptop and removing any distractions that will prevent you from listening. Just give the other person your undivided attention, especially when they have a different point of view.
You know the dangers of being distracted while driving a car. During December, do your best to stop being distracted during your conversations. If you try to multi-task with people, your relationships will eventually crash.
Listen longer by not saying these comments to yourself at the start of a conversation:
I already know this!
This is not important!
What else do you have to do today?
Where am I right, where are they wrong?
It's easy to be a good listener when you value the topic and have the time and energy to pay attention. However, when those criteria are not met, you create reasons to justify not listening longer. As a result, you don't really understand everything the other person wants you to hear.
One of the keys to being a better listener is to discipline yourself to listen when the other person needs to be heard, not just when it's convenient for you.
The people you work with, live with and serve know when you didn't really listen to them. They may not complain, but each time it happens, you lose an opportunity to add value to someone you care about.
If you'd like more ideas on how to be a better listener this month, take a few minutes to review these two articles:
Take this The Relationship Challenge seriously, and give the most important people in your life the gift of listening to them like it really matters...because it really does.