Do you listen?
Are you sure?
I recently participated in a global leadership meeting and one of our facilitators spent time coaching us on listening.
He asked us: What’s the opposite of listening?
We all answered: Talking!
Then he asked us, “What’s the opposite of talking?”
Of course, we wanted to say, “listening,” but we suspected we would we wrong. The answer? “Waiting to talk.”
He challenged us to consider if we really are listening or if we are simply waiting to talk.
It’s something I struggled with for years and still do at times. As a newspaper reporter, I would only half hear answers to questions because I was always waiting to ask my next question. When I finally started to really listen, my stories became stronger.
Our facilitator noted we could approach a conversation from sides, or we could approach it to find the center together.
The next time you are conversing with someone stop and ask yourself if you really are listening.