Listening is a lost art. We love to talk, tweet, and tell everyone what we think about everything, but if you’re like me, you find listening difficult.
Perpetuating the problem is our incomplete definition of what listening truly entails. Good listening is marked by more than merely hearing what someone says. Good listening is also marked by striving to understand what someone means in what they’re saying.
Ask clarifying questions. Give the benefit of the doubt. Restate what you’ve heard. Assume positive intent. Draw out the heart of what the person means by what they’re saying.
Communication is messy. We don’t always convey our thoughts in a straight line. Rather than jump to conclusions, only hearing what someone says, strive to be someone who listens for what people mean in what they’re saying.