“I just don’t understand why they don’t listen to me!” Have you ever had that thought? Do you have employees? Do you network? Do you go to meetings? Do you feel as though nobody listens to you? The fact is that people do not listen and understand you because you are not listening to them. You talk, explain, analyze, preach, propose, and offer advice and instruction. The reason that they do not listen and understand is because you have not listened and understood them. You will understand them only when you listen to them. Understanding them leads to you being understood. First, ask an open-ended question (Who, What, When, Where, and Why). Then, be present. Be engaged. Quietly listen. Then ask another question. Feel where they are. See how they see you. Then ask another question. Listen for a long time, without offering your wisdom or giving solutions. Just listen and UNDERSTAND. After truly understand them will you be truly understood yourself. When you truly respect and listen, and understand another human being, it opens the possibility for a real conversation. What they understand is that you care and that you truly understand and respect them. They might even ask you a question, and seek to understand you. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting response, that they want to listen to you? If you are ready to be heard. If you have something valuable to share. If YOU want to be understood, you have you start with understanding!
YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK: Listen to somebody this week. Don’t just listen, but fully understand them. Do they ask you questions in return? Do you end up being fully understood yourself?
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