We are all about being your most fearless and authentic self. I am currently reading, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie for the first time. I’ve learned from friends that this is a staple in many successful households. It discusses the art of getting your way and learning how to navigate even the most difficult people. In “Part 3: Six Ways to Make People Like You” he discusses active listening.
It is human nature to listen with the intent to respond instead of listening with the intent of actually processing what the other person is saying. I learned this at a very early age, which is why I try to minimize doing other things during conversations. Mr. Carnegie states:
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“So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.” (93)
I challenge you to go through this week as an active listener. When other people are talking to you, focus on what they are saying, and not on your response. If you have a question while they are speaking - write it down, and respond only after you have fully processed what they said. At work this week, leave your laptop at your desk when going to meetings or bring it but leave it closed and away from you and use a notebook to write notes. When out with friends or on the phone, focus solely on talking on the phone and not texting or scrolling through Instagram or cooking a full meal.
At the end of the week let us know how this change impacted your relationships or input in meetings and with your coworkers and friends.
Carnegie, D., Carnegie, D., & Pell, A. R. (1981). How to Win Friends and Influence People. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Three women going through life.