Welcome to The Motivational and Inspirational Corner Newsletter. We're really pleased to have you come along for the ride today as we talk about this month's topic - the importance of listening.
Listen up, I've got something important to tell you. Hey, I'm talking to you. Yes, you! OK, are you listening now? Wait a minute, you are still not paying attention, are you? I want you to stop what you are doing because I'm only going to say this once. Listening is a lost art today. What do you mean you didn't get it the first time? Yes, I will say it again, but this time you really need to hear what I say. Ready? Are you sure this time? All right - here goes. Listening is a lost art today. What's that, you want me to say it one more time? Come on, get the peanut butter out of your ears and listen up. OK, one last time. Listening is a lost art today! Good grief. It seems to get harder and harder to effectively communicate with people every day.
"I only wish I could find an institute that teaches people how to listen. Business people need to listen at least as much as they need to talk. Too many people fail to realize that real communication goes in both directions."
-- Listening quotation from Lee Iacocca --
The biggest problem with communication, regardless of whether the breakdown occurs at home, in the workplace or somewhere in between, is that people have lost their ability to listen to others. That is why it is important for us to recondition ourselves to listen, listen and listen some more. Being a "good listener" requires that we take the time to listen to what people say and what people mean when they say it. When you begin to really listen to what others are saying, you will be in a much better position to respond to what they are saying.
"The greatest compliment that was ever paid to me was when one asked what I thought, and attended to my answer."
-- The art of listening quotation by Henry David Thoreau --
Communication can never be a one way street. Effective communication is always a give and take between the parties involved, where the interaction flows - back and forth. Regardless of whether the communication is an informal exchange of information or a private expression of feelings, it is imperative that all parties participate. In order for us to effectively interact with others, not only do we need to get good at talking, we also need to improve our listening skills as well. Anyone can talk, but great communicators are the winners who have mastered the fine art of listening.
"It is the province of knowledge to speak. And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen."
-- Listening quotation from Oliver Wendell Holmes --
The better you become at listening to what your coworkers, friends and family have to say to you, the better your relationships with these people will become as well. If you are having a difficult time communicating with someone else, maybe, just maybe it is time for you to STOP talking so much. After all, shouldn't you let the other person share in the conversation too? You should also get in the habit of looking people in the eyes when you talk to them and looking them in the eyes when you listen as well. People trust a person who looks them in the eyes. And finally, learn to LISTEN, LISTEN and LISTEN some more. You will be astonished at how much you can learn from other people and how much you can learn about other people when you have your mouth closed. Stop, look and listen. Now you're talking!
"Talking is the natural way to do business. Writing is great for keeping records and putting down details, but talk generates ideas. Great things come from our luncheon meetings, which consist of a sandwich, a cup of soup and a good idea or two."
-- Effective communication quotation from T. Boone Pickens --
A good communicator learns early on the importance of letting others talk and also learns how to effectively listen as well. Without question, talking is our primary way of expressing ourselves and exchanging information with others. We need to talk and communicate with others in order to lead a productive life. Our relationships with others depend on our ability to effectively communicate what we think and how we feel. If you truly want to enjoy the best life has to offer, I will give you some "sound" advice to follow. It is time for you to break the sound barrier.
You must learn how to open up and project your feelings, your emotions, your thoughts and your personality. You should break down walls that prevent or impede productive interaction and communication with others. You should look for chances to build people up, not tear people down. When you have something to say to others, make sure the "something" that comes out of your mouth is positive and constructive, never negative or destructive.
We should commit to improving our lines of communication and removing any and all sound barriers once and for all. As you systematically break one sound barrier after another, you will find your interpersonal skills and relationships with others improving dramatically as a result. As an added bonus, you will find that breaking the sound barrier will provide you some nice sound "effects" as well.
"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."
-- Effective communication quotation from Winston Churchill --
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