Say What?

(The following post is from my new contributing columnist. Her posts will be under the title “She Says” and will be one woman’s opinion, thoughts and perspective on men and life as she see’s it).

Does anyone really listen anymore? Have you ever been so excited about something you experienced during the day that you burst into an exuberant explanation with the first person who would spare you five minutes, only to discover that when you pause to take a breath, the person immediately interjects their own personal story?… Like they didn’t hear a word you said, they were simply waiting for you to stop talking.

I like to think of myself as a trained listener; salespeople learn the skill as part of their toolbox. To connect with customers and earn their trust, we have to listen attentively for clues about what drives them…about their passions and interests. So when a “customer” pauses, I ask questions or repeat something they said to show that I was paying attention. It’s the polite thing to do.

Why is it so hard for people to reciprocate? Sometimes I’ve even wondered if it’s me. Maybe my conversation is boring or I’m just not funny enough. Yet, even when the so-called listener skips the art of listening and immediately becomes the talker, I find myself trying to show an interest again. Occasionally I get hung up on the fact that my whole conversation just went by the wayside. My mind starts drifting and I’ve suddenly committed the same offense- I’m no longer paying attention.

I think I’ve got the edge though. The talker doesn’t even know it because he’s still listening…to himself.

6 Responses to “Say What?”

  1. Vic says:

    The Regular Guy already discussed this subject. You must not have been listening. ;>)

    http://njregularguy.com/public_html/2009/10/

  2. Wayne says:

    I totally agree about the listening issue. It does not matter, male or female. As a healthcare practioner I must listen every day every minute. Make an educated evaluation and then plan a course of action. The problem is people will interject family problems, social problems, life 101 problems. as soon as I begin to repeat there main issue, they interrupt and say “NO you’re not listening.” I think the whole is so self centered people know the answer they want to hear before they even start a conversation or discusssion. By listening we all can learn something. No wonder the therapist only schedule 50 minute sessions, that’s all they can take each week.

  3. Wayne says:

    I totally agree about the listening issue. It does not matter, male or female. As a healthcare practioner I must listen every day every minute. Make an educated evaluation and then plan a course of action. The problem is people will interject family problems, social problems, life 101 problems. as soon as I begin to repeat there main issue, they interrupt and say “NO you’re not listening.” I think the whole world is so self centered people know the answer they want to hear before they even start a conversation or discusssion. By listening we all can learn something. No wonder the therapist only schedule 50 minute sessions, that’s all they can take each week.

  4. Vic says:

    My therapist would often give me 90 minutes for my 50. Of course, I was listening to HIS problems for a good part of it. hahahahaha 😀

  5. Tommy V says:

    Listening is a skill most do not have or unfortunently, don’t care to. It is a very “me” world we live nowadays, and listening to others is not part of the equation. That is why I feel customer service at most stores is an all time low and probably getting worse. In High School or in College you usually have to take a Speech class of some sort. Why not a listening skills class as well?

  6. Vic says:

    You have to have a genuine interest in other people’s lives to be a good listener and many people just don’t.

Leave a Reply