Test yourself on your listening skills

How do you know if you listen well or not?

Here are some questions to reflect on.

Do you:

Tend to speak more than others.
Interrupt, and believe this is a natural part of conversation.
Think ahead, finishing peoples sentences for them.
Come to conclusions quickly and form options of what needs to be done before the speaker is finished.

Get impatient if the speaker is slow and taking a while.
Find yourself thinking about what you want to say instead of  concentrating on what the speaker is saying.

Are easily distracted.
Fake attention when listening to others
Make judgments about the speaker.

Want to get to the bottom line quickly.
Want facts rather than ideas.

Are not interested in how people feel, you just want to know what they've done.
Often forget what people told you.
Listen selectively, dipping in and out of attentiveness.

Are more interested in content than feelings.
Don't observe body language and facial expressions, and stare into space while listening.
Tend to listen without facial expression, remaining silent.

Propose solutions as soon as (or even before) the person is finished speaking.

If you answered yes to some or all of them:
1) Congratulations for recognizing this – it is an important first step in learning to do better!
2) Welcome to the human race. This is something most of us could do better with.

Just by becoming aware of our wandering attention while another is speaking, we have the opportunity to bring back our attention and become present to the conversation.

Or as we say in the mindfulness community, the moment that you realize that you have not been mindful, you are being mindful again.

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