Listen to Learn and Learn to Listen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday, like much of eastern PA, NJ, and NY, we had a snow day!  After I reviewed my email, worked on my doctoral coursework, and even hung out with my family, I decided I was going to post!  So, what to post about?  My colleague shared someone else’s advice to new bloggers.  I do not remember the exact post, but the message was clear! Basically, just start writing about something that matters to you.

I scanned Twitter multiple times today and kept coming back to information on active listening.  Listening is so important in our daily personal and professional lives. We have to listen with our whole minds and body and avoid distractions.  With cell phones and instant access that is becoming increasingly difficult for some of us.  We have to listen to what is said and what is not said!

You can read a great blog post about active listening here.  What I really liked about this post is the chart  (from Storytelling and User Experience) which identifies 10 specific skills, behaviors associated with them, and what to avoid when having a conversation.

For example, the chart includes reflecting and summarizing.  These require the listener to actively engage in both sides of the conversation (as opposed to planning a response while the other person is still talking.)  I also really appreciated the tip about not filling the silences and allowing the speaker to set the pace.

I also found this post on different types of listening. Which do we use in our professional and personal lives?

I have already shared this chart with a critical friend.  I know we will talk about our strengths and weaknesses as related to this chart over lunch sometime soon!  This sharing and honest conversation helps us both grow as leaders!

In this blog, which I entitled “Share to Learn,” I am hoping to learn from my readers too! Each post will have a couple questions to consider in the hopes of engaging you in the conversation.

Questions to Consider:

  • What other suggestions do you have to make us all more effective listeners?
  • How do you avoid listening to respond instead of listening to learn?



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