Secret # 6: How Listening Makes You a Popular Person and Beyond

| April 5, 2012 | 0 Comments

Have you ever talked to someone and realized how wonderful a listener that person is and how much you admire her or him? It seems so amazing that we can learn so much about others, while they are simply listening. On the other hand, have you ever talked to someone who was already taking a breath in order get a chance to speak themselves, where you got the sense that no matter how much or what you said, nothing was going to arrive?

A while back I talked about how we say a lot about ourselves through the way we talk about others. Today is about how much we “say” about ourselves, while listening. Attitude matters, because we all sense it in others. We sense the supportive and well meaning attitude as well as the defensive and argumentative style of a listener, before they have even said a single word. Listening with your full attention and with the intention of seeing the speaker as a wonderful and complete human being also changes what we end up hearing.

So often we put motifs and intentions in what it is we are hearing. Almost just as often we are not getting it right, we are simply interpreting with our own bias. But since we are so convinced to be seeing things right, we don´t think to ask any clarifying questions and a whole string of misunderstandings and actions get born from that attitude.

Another habit we might have as listeners is to rehearse our own answer while the other person is still talking. By this action, we are usually not establishing a satisfactory conversation. It is interrupting the flow, because we can´t listen and think about what and how we are going to say, and say it at the same time. There is no hurry when we listen to someone speak. It is a true gift to us to be able to listen to someone’s thoughts, comments and ideas. After all, we already know what we would say about a certain topic at hand. Listening is the perfect chance to enhance our own points of view, to hear something new and to be introduced to a new perspective.

It is important for us to examine our own “listening style.” We might even ask others how they perceive us as listeners. Habitual defensiveness can be very hindering to our communication with others. We can remind ourselves that hearing something new is not a bad thing.  Just hearing it does not mean that we have to either convince the other of our own opinion or that we need to adopt the other´s point of view. I like the saying “agree to disagree.” It is a very generous approach for ourselves, not just towards the other. We do not have to argue every point to the bitter end.

I invite you to truly enjoy conversations, to follow the flow, the rhythm of it, to observe your own habits as a conversationalist. Think about who you admire as a speaker and why. You can incorporate any of the characteristics you admire for your own style. “You spot it, you got it!”

The next time you listen to someone, give them your full attention, see them in their best light, as the wonderful person they are, with the best interest in mind. That does not make you weak or in danger of being convinced of things you don´t care for. It means you are growing your reputation as a generous and open minded person. Find more on this topic at:

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Certified Life Coach