“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey
Recently I met a man, who is highly respected and successful in his industry and local community. He has a degree in law and a strong corporate background. His in depth knowledge base and passion was very strong. However, there was something missing in our conversations and after a while, I realized what that important element was that would have had me even more engaged.
One of the most empowering gifts you can give for yourself and others, in any conversation or presentation, is to actively listen on many levels. When we listen with our ears, our eyes and keen perception, our listeners will sense this and will feel fully engaged.
On this occasion, because our conversations were mostly one sided and his attention appeared to be on the next thing he was going to say, I felt disappointed and not heard. If I had felt he was actively listening, I would have heard his valuable information on a much deeper level as he spoke from his heart and shared his message.
When active listening doesn’t happen, the speaker may not be aware that the energy and audience engagement has changed. Active listening allows the speaker to check in with their audience, ask questions and tailor what they are saying to their audience’s needs. I believe we need to have this awareness so that our audience feels genuinely involved. Otherwise, we may sound disconnected and lacking integrity.
How do You feel about the active listening now?
- Next time You’re having a conversation or doing a presentation, remember to pause a moment and think about how You’re engaging Your listeners.
- As You give others the gifts of what You’re saying, ask Yourself – How can I involve You more and give You a greater sense of feeling valued?
Here’s to actively listening as You speak from Your heart and share Your message!