Active listening is something that everyone struggles with and most executives include as part of their leadership coaching plan.
In the age of iPhones, email, texts, constant notifications, and Twitter “shouting contests,” truly listening can be a tremendous a gift, both for the speaker and listener.
I think listening starts with desire to be a better listener and also includes an ability to turn down our internal chatter so we are able to be present, engaged, and focused on what the other person is trying to communicate. Not a simple task.
Yoga, meditation, journaling, and exercise are excellent ways to settle and calm our minds, show up more present, and ultimately listen better.
Tools to Become a Better Listener
- Click here to hear Jon Kabat-Zinn talk about Listening as a Radical Act of Love (six minutes). JKZ, a PhD in molecular biologist from MIT, is a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher who is known for bringing Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) into the mainstream of medicine and society.
- Click here to watch a short clip by Simon Sinek on Why Effective Leaders Speak Last, especially in the boardroom (< two minutes)
- Click here to read A Simple and Powerful Technique for Better Listening