Personally I’ve always thought of myself as a listener. Not that I don’t like talking (in contrary), but the words of my father (on the matter) stuck with me:
What you saying, is something you already know. What the other people are telling, is something you might not know… So always pay attention when people are speaking!
With these words in mind, I came across the following article where it had a kind of checklist to see if you’re really listening:
- Interrupting the speaker to tell your own story or give advice.
- Not making eye contact.
- Finishing the speaker’s thoughts or asking too many questions about details.
- Rushing the speaker.
- Answering the phone, texting, e-mailing or paying attention to something else.
- Forgetting what the speaker says.
- Waiting for the speaker to finish so you can “top” the speaker’s story—”That reminds me of…” or, “That’s nothing compared to…”
I’ve got some mixed feelings about point three though. I thought that this showed interest in someone’s story. Yet as I try to avoid it, I’ve found myself guilty of point 5 on occasions when the other party “likes to hear his/her own voice” instead of passing the message on. The last one is probably something everyone does (I hope, otherwise I’ve got a problem 😉 ) to continue the storyline of the talks?