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Stop, Look, and Listen

By Rachel Schwarz

So far, your tips for becoming a more effective listener are to nod, smile, and paraphrase. Tip number four is one of the most important, because it ties everything together. The good news is it’s the easiest one so far: LOOK!

Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone who was returning an e-mail, creating a grocery list, or watching TV? It’s difficult to avoid feeling like the other person is more interested in their other task than in what you have to say. So, when someone is talking to you, look at him or her.

This will not only help you focus on the conversation, but will also reinforce that you want to be involved in the interaction. So put down your phone, and pause that DVR- someone wants you to listen!

Can You Hear Me Now?

By Rachel Schwarz

I am a self-proclaimed interrupter. By nature, I am loud, excited, and always ready to jump into a conversation. I’m a great listener- until I have something to interject. My friends joke about it with me, but it is apparent that they are often bothered by my inability to just keep my mouth shut!

Communication is a two-way street, and we’ll all get along much better if sometimes, we can just stop talking and make an effort to understand where the other person is coming from. As Karen often discusses in her programs, ‘listen’ contains all of the same letters as ‘silent’. This is NOT a coincidence!

The next time you want to open your mouth, take a moment. Is the other person finished with their story, thought, or question? Listening will lead to better understanding, stronger relationships, and happier friends!

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