~ Are You Listening to Me? What Did You Say? Listening Skills

8th January 2020

To quote Peter F Drucker “the most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said”! Whilst agreeing it is an important point it is my belief that the MOST important point is to actually listen in the first place and then Mr Drucker’s quote becomes relevant.

Most of us are guilty of not listening some of the time. It’s not that our intention is not to listen it is that we quite often are interested in the subject and want to state our opinion or our agenda is already formed on the subject and therefore have only half listened, just enough to form our response which is often uppermost in our thoughts as the person is talking to us.

How often do you feel you haven’t been listened to? The eyes of the person you are talking to are in your direct vision, well usually and yet you are somewhat aware that you have not gained their attention. Relationships are often broken when listening skills are absent.

So how do we really listen to what our partner/friend/colleague/client is saying. It takes focus and respect for the person speaking to us. One technique is to repeat, though not verbatim, what the other has said. We can do this by reframing what was said, when appropriate. Another option is to still our minds and be present to what is being said. Do not interrupt. Wait until the other person has finished and comment on what was said, rather than what you think. If your opinion is sought, it will be a natural progression within the conversation. For those who do actually focus and listen the improvement in both professional and personal relationships is significant.

Alexandra Roberts