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What is the Hardest Communication Skill to Master?

by | Jun 18, 2021 | 2 comments

Hints: You already know it’s important but your actions don’t support that knowledge. You get aggravated when others don’t perform this skill very well; yet, you don’t either.

Answer: Eclipse Monitoring – AKA active listening.

Pre-Covid, for many years, I visited members of my synagogue who landed in the hospital. One time, during a training session on how best to support ailing congregants our Rabbi said, “Don’t block the light.” We hospital visitor volunteers looked confused. He repeated, “Don’t block the light.” We still looked baffled and he repeated the phrase again!

Explanation: we block the light, like the moon covering the sun, when we are not active listeners.

You can relate. You Block The Light when you get interrupted by your dinging Apple Watch. You Block the Light when you ask a question and then answer it yourself. You Block The Light when you hijack someone else’s story. As a hospital visitor volunteer you Block The Light when you start telling the patient about your own health issues!

How To Be a Better Active Listener

  • Pretend putting a dab of Super Glue on your bottom lip and clamp your top lip to your bottom lip. This mental visual cue activates your imaginary Active Listening Hat.
  • Practice good eye contact.
  • Ask questions.
  • Paraphrase and summarize.
  • Use these three magic words, especially when you feel the urge to interrupt: “TELL ME MORE”.

As a leader, communicating with intentional attention nets big rewards. Last week I blogged about how to gain the attention of your tribe. Eclipse Monitoring goes a long way to do just that.

Add your comments here or contact me today to learn how I can share these concepts with you and your organization.

© 2021 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

Did you know we offer a free 20-minute communication consultation?

Karen Cortell Reisman book on sellingKaren Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 2 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, #AlbertEinstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.

Want a customized Speak For Yourself® live or virtual workshop on how to communicate formally, informally, and electronically?

Email Karen@SpeakForYourself.com

Photo Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_elenaphotos21′>Elena Duvernay</a>


  1. Michael Gallant

    This is a good one.
    Please, TELL ME MORE!

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      Thanks Michael. Yes… the three best words ever are: Tell Me More. Use it and tell me more. Karen

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