Listening is one of the skills most people struggle with, yet most of us believe we are very good listeners. I’m equally guilty on this one and it wasn’t really an issue for me until I certified as a Coach. I am naturally a selective listener and I listen well and fully engage with the speaker if what’s being said is what I want to hear. Otherwise, I become irritable and would either interrupt the speaker or I would disengage and start crafting my response. The moment I got into that zone, I wouldn’t hear anything that the other person would still say, I just waited for my turn to speak.
As a coach, I must listen attentively to understand what is being said and confirm if I’m hearing well before I can respond, you can imagine how painful it was at the beginning, at some point I convinced myself that coaching was not my thing. I had to work hard to practice active listening and now it’s the most treasured skill I have as it doesn’t only help me uncover more about people but help me to appreciate people even more.
When do you listen and what makes it difficult for you to listen?
How often do you ask questions and make sure you fully understand what is being said before you respond or give your opinion?
How does it feel if you are talking to someone, and you can see they are not listening to you?
Remember, listening doesn’t only help you learn but shows your respect for the person you are listening to.