The Art of Communication – Two Ears.

Effective Communication starts with Listening

Effective Communication starts with Listening

We are continuing this mini-series using quotes from Alan Hassenfeld, during a recent visit to MBA students at Brandeis University.

“g-d gave you two ears to listen with, communication is key”

You’ve heard it before.  To be a great communicator, you have to listen.  But how many people have heard this so many times that we fail to listen to what this sentence is actually saying.

To listen effectively involves all our senses:

  • Sound – communication has words, tones, rhythms and
  • Sight – communication is not only about words but about body language
  • Touch – communication can involve touching to calm down, or show empathy, to make sure a point is heard
  • Smell  and Taste – these will be present in communication but we may not actively recognise them.  But our brain does.

Effective communication, I am informed, is 10% words and 90% body language.  If we rely on words as our only reference point, we can miss much.  So a couple of guidelines:

  • Stop Talking – you can’t multi-task this one.
  • Actively Listen – make eye contact, sit comfortably, turn off your mobile and PC.  Ensure you have time/space in your schedule (if you don’t, cancel an appointment – this is important.)

To truly listen is one of the greatest things that anyone can do for a friend, customer, team…. Make it one of your goals to develop your listening skills.

“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.” – Henry David Thoreau.

I wrote a post about my experiences with listening a while back.  I didn’t shape up very well.  You can read it here.  “Be there.”

What frustrates you the most about not being listened to?

Where do you experience lack of listening the most?

What positive effects can you describe about active listening?

Thank you for taking the time to visit me here.  I appreciate any feedback that you care to give. Please add a comment to introduce yourself, or add value to what I have written in this post.  Kate.

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About katehobbs

Mother to two who are now independant and living away from home. Wife to Steve, for the last 26yrs and looking forward to many more years. I have enjoyed 18 months in the Okanagan, something that I have longed to have the opportunity to do for a while. Living a dream, you could say. Now, I am interning with Living Waters Canada based in Vancouver until end of April 2013. I love to grow my own food - it tastes so much better. I also build up, train and encourage others to achieve more than they thought possible.
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