Last post started the three part series on the trio that, if made part of your daily life, will undoubtedly put more "happy" in your new year - Laugh; Listen; Let Go - with a few laughs to get that going for you.
This week, part II; Listen.
That's because effective and personal communication creates a bond of closeness, reduces conflict, enhances relationships, and in many cases, helps you get more of what need & want out of your interactions, therefore...life.
And the key to effective communication is... good listening.
Add to that, people who are good listeners are more liked, rated as more attractive, and inspire more trust (according to Louisiana State University professor of communication studies Graham D. Bodie).
And, good listeners are higher academic achievers, have better emotional development, and are more likely to get promoted at work.
And our ever-shortening attention spans don't help; according to research from the Associated Press:
The average attention span in 2012: 8 seconds
The average attention span of a goldfish: 9 seconds
GOLDFISH are more attentive than we are....Sheeeesh.
Take the person in. Be mindful of their body language and other physical clues to mood, comfort zone, etc.
The ability to maintain eye contact is an important tool that conveys care, builds connections and indicates interest, according to a Michigan State University study.
When you ask questions, you do a few very effective things:
- you create a safe space for other people to give you an unvarnished truth
- you show true interest by seeking to really understand their position
- you get more information than you most likely would otherwise not know
- you demonstrate willingness to let it be about them (needing an ear) rather than you (having the answers)
That means being totally present with somebody, quieting your own mind, stowing all devices, and reducing or eliminating the chance of getting distracted (close your door and send calls to voicemail is an example at the office); giving people the space to talk and share something about themselves without interruption.
Repeat (paraphrase) back what you think you heard...
...you may have heard wrong and if so you'll find out immediately...and if you heard correctly, you'll be letting the other person know you really got it.
Understand the “humanity of their situation” (all the circumstances surrounding it); "walk a mile" in the other person’s shoes.
You have been officially alerted...
In two weeks... "let go"...