It’s that time of year to start thinking about a New Year’s Resolution. So besides the typical weight loss goal, I have decided that my resolution this year is to become a better listener.
I’ve got the talking thing down pat – I usually have something to say, even if someone doesn’t want to hear it. Unfortunately I’m a bit of a buttinsky, too, in that I’ll butt in when someone is talking, although I try to gauge it when I think they are done but that’s not always the case. That’s a terrible habit and I’m vowing to try to break myself of it.
There is one woman at work that is a terrific listener. She smiles politely at me as I ramble on and on about my recent biking experiences. The more I talk about it the more excited I become and the more I talk about it. And she sits there and listens to all of my stories. God bless her. It can’t be easy at times listening to me go on and on about the bike, something most people can’t relate to.
So I’m modeling myself after her. I’m going to be polite, which means being quiet, and listen to people when they are talking. I’m not going to interupt, even if I think I have something to say that is on topic. This will also help me in regards to my boss as well. There’s nothing worse than an employee that butts in before the boss is done speaking.
I realized this week how important it is to listen to someone when they are speaking. I was faced with a situation where I was talking and the person who was supposedly listening to me would just start talking to someone else about something entirely different as if I wasn’t even talking. It was so frustrating that I would just stop and that person didn’t even notice that I hadn’t completed my story.
So I wondered if I was a bit like that and to some extent I think I am. I’m always thinking about what I’m going to say next instead of really focusing on what others are saying. I think in some regard I’m always afraid of forgetting what I was going to say. But who cares? If I can’t remember then it’s not that terribly important, now is it?
So that’s my goal for 2008: to be a better listener. This will require me to focus more on the person who is speaking and to ask questions about the topic so they know I’m listening and interested in what they are speaking about.
Wish me luck! It’s often hard to change and this is going to be one tough habit to break. Well, that and eating chocolate.