Monday, March 03, 2008

Good Listening


I aspire to be a good listener. I appreciate good listeners, and hope that I can be the same kind of friend to others. So here's my question: What makes a good listener? Of the good listeners you know in your life, what makes them good?

12 comments:

Kyle said...

Eye contact
Undivided attention

sherry said...

PLEASE tell me this isn't inspired by my no-listening-involved monologue Friday night! ;) I sent Hope's package today, by the way.

You, my friend, are a fabulous listener. A good listener remembers. We can all pretend to care for the duration of a conversation, but a good listener remembers what she hears, and asks about it later.

RobinDayle said...

I agree with Sherry. You are a good listener, because you always make sure to ask me about even the smallest random things I may have mentioned like, once.
I have 2 close friends who excel at listening, and I know that they truly care when I speak. I have another who only talks about herself when we hang out, never once asking how my day was, or what's going on in my life. The contrast is something I've actually been thinking about a lot lately...weird that you wrote about it.
Oh, and I miss you sister (and bro and niece).

Tony & Jaimie said...

what a great question. as i'm reading other comments...i'm not sure what else to add. I agree - eye contact is huge as well as remembering/asking about the convo later. Something that might be related is not interrupting...that's one i could work on. I always feel if i don't blurt it out right then, i'll forget to say it later...but i guess if it's that important, i'll remember. But don't fret steph - you are a great listening already!! keep up the good work!

Stephanie said...

thanks everybody! Great observations about listening. I really wasn't writing this to get encouragement, but thanks :)

Sherry - this is certainly not inspired by our talk the other night! I'm excited to get your package in the mail!

Robin - I miss you too - hope to see you very soon.

Hey Jaimie! Thanks for the input - I miss little Claire :( I bet she is getting so big.

Kyle said...

i agree with tony and jaimie. interupting hurts good communication. i have found that as a man i want to fix things. i might hear the first part but then as you keep talking i am off in "how to fix it" land and don't hear the rest. women when they communicate don't usually need or want a game plan. they simply want a sounding board. it is good to ask "do you want a sounding board or a dialogue?"

Tasha said...

I did this activity with my class at the beginning of the year. I had them talk in pairs. The first time we practiced 100% listening. That meant that the other person got to talk, and all you could do was listen. Then the listener retold the talker what they heard. Then we practiced interrupting each other. We had a discussion about the differences and how each one made them feel. It was amazing that 9 year olds get the difference.
I had a boss once that when we talked, it seemed that I was the most important thing going on. He focused totally on the conversation. I've had others who kept working or looking around while we talked, and well, you just don't feel as listened to when someone is not giving you their full attention.
I know for Kyle and I, if I need to talk about something important, that means he has to give me his full attention. It is hard to do that for both of us, because we're both busy people.

Tasha said...

PS Cool picture choice.

Stephanie said...

Thanks Kyle and Tasha - I agree - focused attention is a huge one. I really will work on this! Great activity idea with your class - very creative and I'm sure one they'll remember.

Big MillerTime said...

I think good listeners are truly interested in what you're saying, and that is shown by asking questions and nonverbal cues like eye contact, head nodding, facial expressions etc. What I've always found tricky is being a universal good listener. I think I can be for certain people or on certain topics but to do it across the board seems impossible. There are some people I just can't listen well to. It could be a shortage of love on my part that limits how much I care for certain people and therefore I don't care much for what they are saying. That sounds like I'm kind of a jerk but I think it must be true.

Roxanna Grimes said...

time. It takes time to really listen and feel listened to.

Stephanie said...

Jonathan - It is harder to listen to some people more than others. I find that for myself, it is usually selfishness and selfintrest that makes me not be interested in other people. I need to work on that.

Roxanna - good to hear from you - time is a good one. Just knowing someone is willing to sit and listen to you until youre done is great.