Hello, and welcome to the Leadership Done Right Podcast, Episode 60: Five Things Good Listeners Do.
Please Help Me! I sincerely need your help!
Hi friends! Before we get into today’s episode, I want to ask you for a special personal favor. I have a cousin that is an avid outdoorsman, camper, and backpacker. Every year he and his family do an annual backpacking trip. They have been doing it for more than 25 years and always go to the same area. They understand the greatness of the mountains and the importance of emergency preparedness. This year was no different.
This past week they went on their annual trip. On Wednesday night, my cousin, Ray Humphreys went to get some water from the nearby Hidden Lake to put out their fire, but never came back. After a short time, the rest of the family realized he hadn’t come back and they began searching for him. After a bit, they couldn’t find him so they contacted search and rescue. They have been searching for him every day since Wednesday and he is still missing.
He is located in the Uintas Mountains near Kamas, UT. If you are in the area and want to join the search party, please let me know and I can put you in touch with the right people. You can email me at BrandonWJones@LeadershipDoneRight.com or send me a direct message on Facebook or Twitter. If joining the search party is not an option, Please keep Ray and the search party in your prayers. I will include a link to additional information on the show notes page. I am deeply grateful to you for your support and help on this!
Alright, in today’s episode, I am going to discuss how you can become a better listener by doing these five things that good listeners do. By implementing these techniques, you will become a better listener, improve your relationships with others, and overall just become happier as a result!
Not So Good Listening…
Have you ever had a discussion with someone else and then at the end of the discussion, you realize you don’t even remember what they were saying? Recently, I had that unfortunate experience. I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. About halfway through the conversation, I realized I was listening to the conversation my wife was having nearby. I had missed about half of what he was saying to me. At that point I felt rather silly and a little embarrassed because I had not been practicing good listener skills.
This is just one instance when I didn’t follow good listener skills, but there are others that we often do without even thinking. For example, we focus on our phones and not the other person speaking to us. We mentally craft our response before we hear everything the other person has to say. We get distracted by our computers, TV, or something else. Or we just begin day dreaming about something else altogether.
Five Things Good Listeners Do
Jeffrey R. Holland, former President of Brigham Young University, said: “Perhaps even more important than speaking is listening. … If we listen with love, we won’t need to wonder what to say.”
Regardless of what some people say, listening IS a skill we can learn. AND, listening shows our that we appreciation them and their viewpoint. It helps build strong relationships and enables us to discern others’ needs.
So how can we become better listeners? It starts with doing what other good listeners do! Here are five things good listeners do. Now, I have to say that I didn’t come up with this list myself, but it is a great list.
1. Give People Time
Many people need time to gather their thoughts before speaking. Give them time to think both before and after they say something. Just because they are finished speaking doesn’t mean they have said everything they need to say. Don’t be afraid of silence.
2. Pay Attention
We think faster than others speak. Resist the temptation to jump to conclusions or think ahead to what you’ll say when they’re through. Instead, listen with the intent to understand. Your response will be better because it will be informed by greater understanding.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions that clarify something you didn’t understand. Clarifying reduces misunderstanding and shows your interest in what is being said.
Paraphrase what you heard and how you understand the other to feel. This helps them know if they have been understood and gives them an opportunity to clarify.
5. Find Common Ground
You might not agree with everything said, but agree with what you can without misrepresenting your own feelings. Being agreeable can help defuse anxiety and defensiveness.
Russell M. Nelson explained that we should “learn to listen, and listen to learn from one another.” As you learn to listen with the intent of learning about others, you will be in a better position to understand their needs.
Before we go, let’s do a quick recap. The five things good listeners do are:
- Give People Time
- Pay Attention
- Find Common Ground
One quick reminder, if you are in the Salt Lake, Ut area and can help in the search for my cousin Ray Humphrey that would be amazing. If that is not possible, please keep him in your prayers.
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Leadership Done Right podcast. You can check out the show notes at LeadershipDoneRight.com/PodcastEpisode60. I will include an outline of the topics we discussed and related links.
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Thanks again for listening! My goal is to help you become a great leader, now go be the best leader you can be!
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