Friday, August 15, 2008

The Art of Listening

You Are a Great Listener

You are the perfect person to talk to.

You are patient, empathetic, and encouraging.

You provide subtle, but important, feedback.

You let people say everything that needs to be said before you weigh in.

Listening is an important and meaningful experience. It's not just about hearing what a person says. It's so much more.

I listen for a living - schooled for many years in the art and practice of it. But you don't need a lot of training to become a good listener. Here's some tips for learning how to be a good listener.

I am so gonna forward this blogpost to my husband  ;)


Ian Lidster said...

According to the test I'm a 'great listener' but since, like you, that's part of what I do professionally, it stands to reason. It also ties in with all my newspaper work in interviewing.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I got "great listener" too :)

Listening is so important because when we feel heard we feel valued!

Ms.L said...

I had a chat with my hubby about listening better and now he tries more. Except he stares at me with this stunend deer in the headlights look and it freaks me out,lol
I'd never say that though;p

Grumpy Old Man said...

Do you know the Hoagy Carmichael song, Taking Is a Woman (Listening Is a Man).

I doubt it's true, actually, but it is a stereotype. OTOH, I know a certain two-year-old girl who'll jabber your ear off.

Grumpy Old Man said...

Talking. Not Taking.

Health Psych said...

Phew! I got the same as you. Just as well really.......

Big Brother said...

The test says that I'm a great listener but since I'm a teacher I guess that it's normal since listening to your students is an important part of teaching. One way communication equals zero learning.

Janes Insane said...

I'm sorry that I've come here wanting your email address. What I am sorry about is that I didn't read your post, so my comment has nothing to do with it.
Would you please email me at insanelyjane (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thank you!

CrackerLilo said...

Ha--you got proof!

I'm an "okay listener." Doesn't surprise me. I'd do better if it weren't for some of my co-workers and relatives! :-D

Given your profession, I'd be surprised if you got anything *but* "great listener."

Teresa Lynne said...

I agree. Ya know, all my life I had lots of friends, and I always listened to them and never told them what to do or how to feel.

A lot of my friends over the years told me that I should be a counselor.

Today at 42 years old, I went back to school for Pyschology to eventually become a therapist.

Not a lot of family or friends are good listeners, that is why we need counselors! ha ha ha :)

Anonymous said...

I rated as an OK listener. I am not sure i agree with that though. I like to listen and learn then ponder on it. Maybe I talk to much and listen to little,,who knows. I just wish someone would listen to ME and HEAR what I am saying for once in my life!

Battle Weary said...

Somehow I am not at all surprised that you are a great listener, Deb!

Tiptoe said...

I've always thought it was better to listen than to always talk, and to only talk when you have something important to say or that really matters. Maybe it's just the introspective side of me. I think you can just learn so much by listening and observing. And really, what many people want is someone to just listen and hear them out. It's an invaluable tool in my book.

traci said...

I'm not the least bit surprised that you are a great listener. The test said I was too. I'm not surprised by that either since I've been told that by friends for a very, very long time. I wonder what's up with the men in our lives not being so good at it? ha!

S'onnie said...

I got "a great listener" too. while I am not a psychologist as a customer service rep I do have to listen and have developed pretty good skills. I think the best advice I ever got about listening is that it is about forgetting yourself and your view and focussing solely on the other person.

~Just Me~ said...

Lol I got an ok listener. Yes I'm easily distracted. I think the conv has to pique my interest, and if I'm not preoccupied.

Sounds bad I know. lol.

phd in yogurtry said...

Will you forward to my husband too? Good listeners are hard to find. Great post.

Anonymous said...

I'm so not surprised you rated as a "great listener!" I got the same result, even though I feel I have some areas that need to be improved.


Jade said...

Well its a good thing a came out as being a "great listener" or I would have felt like I waisted thousands of dollars on a masters degree in social work! hehe.

Its amazing when I find myself engaged with someone that might be seen as a "bad listener" or "screener" I revert back to school and all the work I and my classmates did on active listening skills.

Good post! Hope life is treating you kindly Deb

jumpinginpuddles said...

dear deb,
i like to listen rather than talk, listening enables you to find out more about the person and listening is less intrusive than talking.
from Amelia

jenji said...

"I am so gonna forward this blogpost to my husband"

Have you tried tapping him on the snoot with a rolled up newspaper to get his attention?


SeaSpray said...

Great Listener. I try. :)

Habit Guide said...

It's funny, people don't usually listen properly. They're just waiting for a gap so they can jump back in with their next point. Really listening is a great habit to get into :) ~ James

~Deb said...

Wow. This was really interesting, Deb, because in my experience, I always wait it out, listen, and when they are done speaking, I try to relate it to my own experiences and then blab out my advice. I'm so glad you linked that site, I read it fully and hopefully it'll help to my friends' advantages! :)

I appreciate this!

Deb said...

I knew you'd score that!

Not surprised at all either.

Yeah, I know what you mean :)

No, but I'll check it out on itunes.

Health Psych said...
Of course you got great listener!!!

Big Brother,
One way communication DOES equal zero learning.

Will do

Sometimes people can make it hard to be a good listener.

Teresa Lynne,
That is JUST fantastic.

I think you are a great listener.

Battle Weary,
I bet you are a great listener as well, my friend.

I tend to feel closer to others when I listen than when I talk about myself. So I agree with you.

I know a few good listeners who are men. Why women make better listeners could be cultural, genetic, experiential, etc etc.

I bet you have really keen listening skills doing the work you do. It is very problem solution and people oriented. Just like a therapist!

~Just Me~,
My hubby gets distracted too. I don't think it's intentional though.

phd in Yogutry,
After my hubby reads it, he will forward it to your hubby. Okay ;)

Listening skills always need to be sharpened and polished. Otherwise, they get dull and dusty. Gee, sounds like I',m talking about furniture.

I have a feeling you are a wonderful listener and a gentle therapist.

I guess I'd say I like listening better than talking too.

Been there, done that ;)

Not surprised to learn what you got.

Habit Guide,
Yup, that's true.

Some interesting tidbits on that site. I agree.

The Lone Beader said...

People who listen are a lot smarter than those who talk a lot. LOL.

Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

I have learned to listen to my patients and that's how I've found some really bad diagnoses. It is a skill that REALLY needs to be learned by health care professionals. Pop over and check out the new template!