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This is something that I’m often guilty of and if you’re being honest with yourself (and I hope you are) it’s something you’re also guilty of.

What you might ask could that be? The answer is simple. You and I both think we can read other people’s minds. Instead of asking we jump to conclusions and that’s what today’s blog post is all about.

Stop thinking of what you will say when someone else is talking.

If you’re thinking about what you will say when someone else is talking there is no way you can listen at the same time. This often leads to an embarrassing situation where you chime in and what comes out of your mouth has nothing to do with what’s being discussed.

Too often we have “discussions” that really aren’t that. Instead, we have a serial conversation. You have your conversation and I have my conversation. Because we’re each thinking about what we will say next, we don’t really know what the other person has said. That is except for the first six or seven words that allows us to believe we know what will come next.

If instead, you listen to the entire part of your partners conversation, you will allow yourself the time to have a thoughtful response. You’ll be seen as being more thoughtful and people will seek you out for conversation.

Doesn’t that sound better than what we often do?

If you don’t understand or are not clear, you need to ask.

No one wants to come across as being dumb. I believe that’s one of the main reasons we don’t ask for clarification if we don’t understand something.

The most common thing we don’t ask about is jargon our conversation partner might be using. Jargon has its place in the world, but not that often.

When you’re talking, your conversation partner will understand you more the least amount of jargon you use. Yes, I know, using jargon saves time. It also often makes your conversation partner feel dumb.

I hope your goal when you’re talking with someone else is to have a conversation that’s well understood by both parties. The less jargon you use, the better chance you have of a conversation that’s understood by your partner.

Listening shows respect.

When I cut you off, I’m not showing you any respect. When I listen fully and thoughtfully to what you’re saying I show you tons of respect.

I have a question for you. How do you feel when you’re having a conversation with someone and they continually interrupt you in the middle of a sentence? If you’re like most people, you don’t find that very attractive. In fact, I would bet that you develop a low opinion of someone who doesn’t listen fully and completely when it’s your turn to talk.

The deeper your listening skills, the more trust you will develop with the person you’re speaking with.

You don’t learn when you’re talking.

Mostly when I’m talking with someone I can learn something useful if I just remember to keep my mouth shut. You already know what you know. If you learn to listen fully and completely, I will hold you in higher regard.

For me, the purpose of conversation is to learn new things. I can’t do that if I’m thinking about what will come out of my mouth next. I don’t think you can either. Be smart and look smart, learn to listen and people will see you as much smarter than if you’re the one who’s doing all the talking.

No one likes a know it all.

This is my biggest problem. When I stop listening to you I come across as a know it all. I’m aware of this because over the years people have told me so.

When you don’t listen well, I see you as arrogant. I can also see you as one who doesn’t care about others. Is that how you want to be seen in the world? My bet is it’s not.

I know that when I listen others respect me more and will ask for my opinion. When I don’t, others turn me off and think I’m a jerk.

I will assume you want to be seen as wise and not a jerk. Then it’s easy. Just listen fully and completely and then and only then open your mouth to speak.

What do you think about listening fully and completely? Why don’t you leave a comment for me in the comment section below?

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Topics: understanding others, Listen, listening skills, Showing respect

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