I’m not naturally good at listening. Listening is a skill that has taken effort for me to develop. I have to force myself to slow down and take in what the other person is saying rather than focus on what I am going to say next.
Recently, in thinking about the skill of listening, the phrase “stop, look and listen” came to me. It seems applicable to developing the skill for listening, not just for trains, but in the midst of conversation. Here is why I think this phrase is helpful:
- Stop – stop the self focused mental process so that I can hear and understand what the other person is saying. Decide to really hear.
- Look – Look at the other person. Make eye contact. Observe his body language. Take in all the clues to communication.
- Listen – By stopping and looking, I am now in a position to listen.
So, the suggestion to stop, look and listen will help you at a railroad crossing and in your next conversation.
What are some other suggestion you have for developing the skill of listening?