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Jul 24

9 Consequences Of Not Listening

Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

Listening is a skill.

When people utilize attentive listening skills great things can happen: 
– I’ve seen crises averted when people utilized attentive listening skills.
– I’ve seen tensions diminished when people utilized attentive listening skills.
– I’ve seen stressful relationships healed when people utilized attentive listening skills.
And, you’ve seen it too.

Unfortunately, when people don’t utilized attentive listening skills bad things can happen.
– I’ve seen “blind people” perpetuate lies.
– I’ve seen “deaf people” shut down conversations.
– I’ve seen “dumb people” drag others down.
And, you’ve seen it too.

Learning to listen better requires me to develop attentive listening skills. One of the skills I’m trying to learn is to be a “question-asker” more than a “teller.”

Tellers tend to jump to conclusions.
Tellers tend to make assumptions.
Tellers tend to judge others without knowing all the facts.
Tellers tend to shut down communication.
Tellers tend to reduce the level of honest dialogue.
Tellers tend to assume they know enough information before they really do.
Tellers tend to try to fix rather than try to be friends.
Tellers tend to feel foolish when their ignorance is exposed.
Tellers tend to justify their ignorance with excuses.

Tellers. You know one or two, don’t you?
I’ve seen one in the mirror, have you?

As a spouse I’ve assumed I knew what my spouse would say, so I cut her off.
As a parent I’ve assumed my child had nothing more meaningful to say, so I cut him off.
As a coach I’ve assumed I knew where someone’s story was going, so I jumped in.

And, sometimes I was right.
And, sometimes I was wrong.
But, every time I was being a teller rather than a good listener.

Tomorrow we’ll discuss the benefits of asking questions.

Bring on the comments

  1. Some words to live by. My co-worker behind me just said “How timely”…this is exactly what we needed to hear today. Thank you.

  2. Very timely post!! I will be paying attention to my own habits.. Thanks for this!

  3. Georgia, thank you for reading and for your encouraging words.
    May people more and more think of us as good listeners.

  4. You’re so sweet! Thank you.
    I hope that more and more people think of us as good listeners.

  5. Great article, just what I wanted to find.

  6. Hi, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this blog post. It was practical. Keep on posting!

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  8. Good post and straight to the point.

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