One thing is for sure - we can always have a challenge understanding what people mean if we do not know how to effectively listen. To listen properly is much the same as forgetting to start the engine of your car and expecting it to move forward.
Don't Make Assumptions
One of the difficulties of understanding what others mean is that we often assume what they are trying to tell us before they even finish speaking. We seem to want to rush the communication so we can speak our piece to them. Maybe this attempt to rush the conversation is part and parcel of our desire to move on to other matters, or to just plain get away from the person we are speaking with.
One Way To Improve
One of the ways to improve your communication skills is to give yourself the appropriate time to speak with another person. This means that you must not be in a rush to go someplace else, or thinking about something else as you talk to the other person. The other point to remember clearly is that you should be thinking about putting yourself in their shoes in order to appreciate just what they want to tell you. If you can do both of these things, you will be able to better understand what is being said, and even what is not being said depending on their body language.
Applies To All Relationships
Good communication skills are a must for all your relationships including with your spouse, partner, family, friends, work colleagues, and even the bus or taxi driver. Poor communication skills are responsible for a lot of difficulties and misunderstandings throughout the world no matter where you live or who you are.
If you were only to learn to do one thing really well, one thing that can make you sought after, make you more effective, and a better person, learn to communicate. This is a vital skill for everything from being a good parent to an effective supervisor or manager. It is unfortunate, as Sommerville said, that we take communication skills for granted because it is an activity that we engage in every day but one skill that is often overlooked as being so important.
Listening Critical For Good Communication Be inspired by the the words of wisdom in "Listen".
They are ones that we all need to remind ourselves of when we deal with life
issues and others that listening is one of the core skills to success.
Listen to your heart,
For it will lead the way.
Always trust your gut,
And you will never sway.
Listen to your mother,
She has the right to say.
She may not always be right,
But at least she cares everyday.
Listen to your mind,
It's knowledge will help you choose.
In life there are many choices,
With so many points of views.
Listen to all of nature,
It will teach you many things.
Have respect for all things living,
Especially water from the springs.
But most of all listen,
To those who don't often say.
You'll be surprised and amazed,
As what they have to say.
We do a lot of talking,
In life on every single day.
There are times when we forget to listen,
Don't let this slip away.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"The reason why so few people are agreeable in conversations is that each is
thinking more about what he intends to say than about what others are saying,
and we never listen when we are eager to speak."
Francois La Rochefoucauld
"We take communication for granted because we do it so frequently,
but it's actually a complex process."
Joseph Sommerville, PhD
"But, you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listen."