The Art of Listening

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Have you ever arrived at the end of a conversation with someone and realized you did most of the talking? I know I have. I remember a college sales class and the professor said to be a success in sales you have two ears and one mouth—use them in that proportion. Also excellent advice for everyday encounters.

In sales, if you do most of the talking, only the benefits of your product get stated instead of really listening to what the buyer needs. Or you do most of the talking that you literally talk yourself out of the sale. The buyer is going to purchase if it fills their needs, not yours.

As for conversations, when you are doing all the talking, what the other person hears is you, you, you. And after a while, they may tire of hearing from you. Toby Keith’s song, “I Wanna Talk About Me” is about someone who is always talking about their life and problems, and he says “Occasionally, I wanna talk about me.” By truly listening, you make the other person feel they are important.

Have you ever thought a person was finished talking because they took a pause and then you started talking? I have, and all I did was interrupt them. My husband used to say to me, “Take a breath and you will jump right in.” This act may make the other person feel their story is not as important as your own.

My daughter has taught me to do better, and I thank her for that lesson. By partially listening, you do not receive the full story, and make presumptions based on what you think they are going to say.

We all want to be heard, and more importantly, understood.

When we talk too much, we miss the opportunity to receive Divine messages. I believe Source and our angels sometimes use other people to help communicate information we need to hear. Maybe we would receive the message better if it came from someone else.

Sometimes there may be messages we do not want to hear or we disagree with. In those incidences, be open to other perspectives this information may help us move forward. I believe we only receive messages to help us, so start paying attention to the signs. It may come from an unexpected source.

Let’s practice the art of listening by being an active participant and paying attention to what others have to say. Look someone in the eye when you talk to them to help you concentrate on what is being said. Be interested in the communication and the message instead of thinking of your response.

Remember the success formula—two ears and one mouth—use in that proportion.

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