Are we really listening, or just waiting for our turn to speak?
Listening is a craft, gifted to some, while refined by others. Ego drives a superior response, while humility allows open mutual dialogue. Multi-tasking and distraction are enemies for listening effectiveness and erode connection.
Health practitioners are trained in the art of listening to get ourselves; 1. Grounded, 2. Centred, and 3. Present. No distractions, only purposeful listening when a client is speaking. When conducting a client intake we intently listen to the verbal and non-verbal dialogue from a patient hoping to catch little clues in their history that may give us insight into their situation and ultimately assist in creating a treatment plan.
Demonstrating empathetic concern builds trust and strengthens both personal and professional relationships. When you are a good listener, people want to talk to you. Good listeners are patient, are generally better at taking directions, make fewer mistakes and process information more succinctly.
The sharing of knowledge is a double-lane expressway between individuals. Listening opens the door to learning and expanding our base of knowledge. Be mindful in your next conversation as to the listening skills you use.