Daily Archives: October 2, 2013

TO TALK…OR…TO LISTEN?

Communication is so VERY difficult.  So far, we have discussed communication styles and how they might impact conversations.  The different styles utilized add a very distinct, emotional side to the equation.  Styles, as I refer to them, indicate whether someone is happy, sad, angry, passive-aggressive, self-assured, confident, arrogant, etc.

Typically speaking, a conversation involves two basic skills:  Talking and listening.  Both skills add their own different and distinct qualities.  How do you rate yourself at each of these skills?  Are you better at talking or listening?  How do you think others perceive you?  Good questions.  Now let’s look at these a bit closer…

TALKING:  Very important skill, right?  Putting your thoughts, ideas, or feelings into words that others will, hopefully, understand.  Be specific.  Straight to the point.  You can NEVER say things too clearly.  People have a way of attaching their own meaning to what they thought you said.  And HOW MUCH you talk during your conversations is of importance as well.  Do you tend to dominate discussions by over-talking or do you say very little?  Too much talking is annoying.  We all know those individuals who dominate conversations.  Talking and talking…never letting you get a word in, edge-wise.  Nobody likes to be a part of those disastrous conversations!  Talking too little, on the other hand, may indicate disinterest or a disconnect.

LISTENING:  Equally important, right?  Or is it?  I tend to believe that listening is more important than talking.  Remember, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.  Listening.  Really listening to what someone is saying is the easiest way to gain their trust and respect.  This implies that you care about what they are saying.  This is very important.  I encourage you to test this out for yourself, especially with new acquaintances.  The best compliment you can give someone is by listening to what they have to say.

Alright, you’ve got your assignment.  Closely examine how much talking and listening you do during your daily conversations.  Experiment to see how more or less of either skill affects those conversations.  I guarantee you will be amazed by what you learn…