Shawn Maxam explains how listening more and talking less is the basis for everyone really being heard.
Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.
I think people overestimate how eloquent they actually sound. Generally people ramble when they speak. This is because the internal dialogue they should be having inside their head is happening out loud. So instead of making a point they just make a bunch of dull statements. We assume that other people will “get it” when say something. Just because you know what you are trying to say doesn’t mean I have the slightest clue.
When you over-talk people start to dislike you. It is just a fact. Most of us don’t have wonderful soothing or comforting voices like Morgan Freeman or James Earl Jones. So if the tone of your voice doesn’t naturally put people at ease then why are you still talking? Below is a short list I written from the tools I have use to learn to be more effective at listening and really have a dialogue with others. At a same attempting to improve and get better I would love to see any additional tips and techniques in the comment section.
- Be comfortable with awkward silences. It gives others the opportunity to speak especially shy talkers.
- Preface your statements with a caveat that it is okay if the person/audience may not understand you.
- Be comfortable with disagreement. During a discussion the issue doesn’t need to be resolved in only a manner you see fit.
- Concentrate on listening. You probably aren’t as good of a listener as you think you are. So focus on people’s words, tone and body language.
- Don’t fall in love with sound of your own voice.
- Just stop talking. I once heard a great story about John Coltrane who loved to take really long solos. When Miles Davis told him no wanted to hear him solo for 20 straight minutes. Coltrane replied that he had so many ideas and didn’t know how to stop playing. Miles said just take the damn horn out of your mouth. Essential just stop talking. Practice some transitions for being quiet.
I believe issues of language and communication are essential in developing muscular empathy. It is our inability to be precise and concise when we speak that prevents others from really hearing us. I even have a tendency to over-speak, babble and ramble. If we focus too much on what we to say instead of paying attention than we are just pretending to engage. Listening effectively is the best method to transcend the personal tendency to interpret the world from only your individual perspective. And a lack of perspective is a dangerous thing.
Please share this with friends, enemies and temporary allies alike.
Thanks for reading, sharing and commenting!