Listen Like You Mean It

November 12, 2014 3:33 PM

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It recently occurred to me that I'm not the best listener. In fact, I can be a pretty lousy listener. A few weeks ago, I got a call from a friend I hadn't spoken with in a long time. While talking to me, she also happened to be getting a pedicure and planning a trip. Granted, she's a good multitasker, but she's not that good. I was excited to speak with her, but most of what I said barely scratched the surface of her scattered focus. My words kept searching for a place to land but could only hover helplessly in mid-air. She kept getting interrupted, and I kept getting more and more miffed. I thought to myself: I'd never treat someone so disrespectfully. Why bother calling me in the first place? Until I paused for a moment and realized I'm guilty of doing the exact same thing.

When talking on the phone, I sometimes text, read emails, fold laundry, clean, prepare dinner, or engage in various other activities that compromise the depth of my listening. I certainly hear what the other person is saying (well, most of the time), but the quality of my listening isn't as substant...

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