Are you a good listener? My colleague, Keith Wommack, has written an article in The Houston Chronicle posted May 2nd. Here in Bloomington, IN with 40,000+ college students the listening issue can become a source of conflict and make listening “all about me.” We call them “Boom Car Civility Issues.” Sound familiar? I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Keith’s article. You can click on the link below to read the complete piece.
Admit it. You’re a lousy listener. Don’t fret. I used to be one, but I’ve been fine-tuning my skill, and you can too. I believe, you’ll want to improve your listening because good listeners have fulfilling relationships and are more apt to experience good health.
Regarding relationships, as you look to improve your listening ability, there are destructive behavioral habits you’ll need to be aware of and abandon. (Several habits detailed in Are you really listening?: Keys to Successful Communication – Donoghue & Siegel)
Rude – Do you interrupt others while they speak? If you make the moment about you, you’re not listening, not considering another’s thoughts and feelings, and you’re certainly not being courteous. Rudeness is an unhealthy behavior for a relationship.
Savior – Do you give others undivided attention because you believe you’re the one to solve their problems? When you think of yourself as a savior, you can’t hear the real need or come up with sound solutions. You merely add to their challenges.
Target – Do you stop listening when you perceive another’s words to be critical of you? Low self-esteem flows from a victim-mentality and this self-centeredness takes offense at everything said, turning it inward. When you’re a target, you miss the point of conversations. It’s hard to listen when you’re defensive.