Listening To Ourselves

It’s said that active listening is about three things:

1. Taking in information without judgment
2. Subtly signaling to the speaker that we want them to continue communicating, and
3. Giving limited responses which carry the speaker’s idea one step further.

But do we spend enough time really actively listening to ourselves?

What we say and how we say it not only reveals a lot about ourselves, it also provides clues to how we affect others – which largely determines how effective we are in general.

Words we use can reveal underlying motivations and provide insight into our actions.

For instance, how often do we say words like “should” or “always” or “never?”

  • “I should go back to school to get a Master’s degree.”
  • “I always make a fool of myself when I try public speaking.”
  • “You can try as hard as you like – that’s never going to happen.”

Even some people who are effective at active listening to others don’t give themselves that same gift.

Listen To Yourself

What words do you use over and over again?

Where are you making judgments?

What affect are your words having on others?

Improving our effectiveness requires being a good listener. Being a good listener starts with listening to ourselves.