Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Art of Listening

One must listen with humility. Forget your own experiences. Stop evaluating as something is being said. Don’t assume things. Don’t let your predetermined image of the person distort what you are listening. As they say, to see a tree you must become the tree, meaning you should not see the tree through the image of a tree already formed in your mind. Each experience is fresh and has to be viewed new every time.

Don’t interrupt the speaker’s flow of thought. Ask a question to confirm that you were indeed listening. Nod your head to encourage the speaker. If you’ve really missed something, ask him to repeat. Occasional interruptions help to keep in touch with the speaker.

Listen for gaps between what you say and what you do. This helps to bridge the inadequacies in your personality. It helps you to keep up with your image. It gives you the feedback so vital to plugging the gaps in your character.

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