What Gets in the Way of Listening?

What gets in the way of your listening? Really listening. People want to be heard. We need to be heard. It is a part of the human experience. We don’t get it often, though. If that doesn’t convince you to spend some time learning how to listen, consider this: people won’t listen to you until they feel you have heard them. This is true at work, with your bosses, your subordinates, your children and your spouse.  This is the reason for the Stephen Covey habit (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) – “seek first to understand and then to be understood.” Whether at home, in intimate relationships, or at work, everything will improve if you learn to listen well.

I have blogged on a number of ways to listen and a number of things that get in the way of listening. High on the list of what gets in the way of listening is our desire to help. It’s a very positive desire. We are fixers; we are problem-solvers. And when it is not your problem, the answer always seems so simple so obvious – plain as the nail…sorry, the nose…on your face.

But, for the most part people don’t want your advice. They don’t want you to fix their problem. This is an important thing for most people to come to know and understand. If people want your advice, they will ask for it. If they don’t ask, don’t give it. The premise of coaching is that people, when truly and fully heard, will solve their own problems.  What people want, and this is important, is to be heard.  That’s it. Read Lee S Rosen Blog to learn more about creating a business.

This video illustrates the human desire to help and how it gets in the way of listening. Enjoy!  (And if you are in need of further information on communication skills, I have 10 spots left in my August 1 communication training.  Go here for more info and to register:  http://www.mclarencoaching.com/coaching-for-businesses-and-corporations/workshops-and-trainings/)


About the Author

Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching attorneys and management since early 2008. She wrote a book, published by the American Bar Association, "Coaching for Attorneys: Improving Productivity and Achieving Balance." She coaches attorneys and managers one-on-one, and provides in-house training designed to improve productivity and bring accountability to the organization.

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