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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Listen, Really Listen

As a speaker, coach and consultant, I've come to learn one of the best skills to cultivate is active listening. And what is active listening?

Well, I can tell you what it's not.

Active listening is not rehearsing your response as the person opens their mouth to speak.
It's not looking for a way to plug your agenda without hearing what the other person to say.
It's not asking how someone is and then craning your neck to see who else is in the room.

People often ask me how to cultivate presence. It's simple. Be present.

Ditch the iPhone, forget about the infuriating drive getting here or that complex meeting you're about to enter.

I'm not saying this is easy, I'm not saying I'm always completely in the moment myself. What I'm saying is I work at it. Actively.

This person, this audience, this proposal, this job, this prospect on the other end of the phone is the opportunity.

And we owe it to the people we work and spend our lives with to give them our full attention. We owe it to ourselves, our colleagues, our clients, our bottom line, our business.

Listen, really listen. Think, really think. Speak, really speak.

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