Reading for Treasure

What? Can You Repeat That?

Posted at Sep 21, 2016 8:00 am

earOne busy day, while squeezing in lunch with a friend, I slowly chewed a bite of salad while she said: “Blah, blah, blah, blah.”

“Yes,” I replied after I’d swallowed. “I remember once, when I was on a flight from New York to San Francisco. . .”

Looking back, I’m pretty sure what she heard was: “Blah, blah, blah, blah.”

The truth is, most of us are too buy planning our reply to really listen to what our friend—or spouse—is saying.  And strangers? Studies show that one reason people have trouble remembering names is because they’re rehearsing for their own introduction.

In fiction, a sleuth often solves—or gets insight into—a crime by remembering a clue dropped into an otherwise innocent conversation. (To be fair, they also sometimes eavesdrop on conversations.) Either way, the sleuth gets her insight by listening.  Really listening.  Something we forget to do in the real world.

Studies show that in an average conversation 38% of the message is communicated by tone of voice.  A whopping 55% is communicated by body language and only 7% is communicated by the words we speak. Over one half of any conversation is communicated through the eyes!

The key to effective listening involves the eyes, mind and heart, far more than it does the ears. Real listening takes focus, concentration, and a little bit of work. But the results may surprise you.

Look into the eyes of the speaker while you listen to their tone and words. Notice her body language. React naturally to both the words and the body language. It’s a powerful experience.

In books, a heroine’s ability to listen makes the hero feel connected—and often leads to love. It happens in the real word, too. Listening builds connections, eliminates misunderstandings, turns isolated good ideas into amazing collaborative successes, soothes wounds, and eases burdens.

By listening, one gives the gift of time and attention. Listening says, without words, “you are valuable to me.”

maslowEven if you disagree with the premise of the other person, you validate them by listening. You also open yourself up to new ideas and experiences. Real listening is often the gateway to meaningful, lasting relationships.

According to American psychologist Abraham Maslow in his 1943 study of human motivation (commonly known as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs), self esteem, confidence, achievement and respect of and by others is one of the highest human needs. Humans long for esteem building affirmations.

Wikipage on Maslow’s Needs 

Active listening can provide that for them.

Isn’t it nice to know you can be someone’s hero simply by listening?

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