16 Aug 2007

Great listening inspires great speaking

Posted by paulandrew

This afternoon I was talking with a new colleague who was telling me all about the things he’s done in his career. It was fascinating.

It occured to me partway through that we were engaged in a two person activity. It wasn’t just that he was willing and able to talk in such detail about his career, but also that I was interested in hearing it. This pairing up of energy, of attentiveness and engagement is what made the stories work.

I am reminded that as a listener I have a powerful role to play in a conversation. Rather than being a time for me to space out or consider my next sentence, my attentiveness can inspire the speaker, and make the conversation much richer.

So yes, listening matters for both the speaker and the listener.


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