When I think about my own skills, the skill that needs the most work is my listening. Don’t get me wrong, I can listen. I can even listen effectively. But often times, I have a hard time turning off the voice in my head in order to listen to my conversational partner.
There are several tracks that the voice in my head may be following. She may be thinking of what to say next. She may be hurt or angry and stuck in something already said. She may have misunderstood the last statement and may still be rattling that through her head. Most of the time, she won’t listen because she’s trying so hard to be smarter than the person talking.
Listening, really deep listening, requires that I ask the voice in my head, politely, “Please shut up now. I’m trying to listen.”
Do you find it a challenge?