Spend the next two hours listening before speaking. Let someone speak and complete their sentence/story/etc. before interrupting.
So how did you do?
What was it like to listen and be silent? What went through your head? Did you listen to what people were saying or were you judging and thinking about what you were going to say next the whole time?
Years ago, I learned that there were many different ways to be a listener--some of them better than others. I try not to judge things as good or bad, when I am with my clients we have a rule that we don't label their food choices or behaviors as "being good" or "being bad". There are nutritious and non-nutritious choices, in every aspect of life. Not good and bad ones. Those words evoke shame and blame. When we say something is somewhere on a spectrum of the myriad of choices available, it feels empowering because we know we can chose better for ourselves each time to bring more happiness and abundance into our lives.
Such is the case with listening.
I'm hosting a teleclass on Being a Good Listener in the near future so I won't give away all the goodies right now, but there are definitely ways of listening and being present that enrich our lives and the lives of others--and ways that do not. I am currently studying a technique of communication that I am finding exceedingly powerful, and alot of it entails improving my listening skills. It isn't just about being quiet. It's about being aware of the person speaking as well as your own internal voice. You are bound to have responses to whatever you are hearing--how are you able to balance the need to respond (or react) with your role listener?
How are your current skills as a listener affecting your personal and professional lives?
What would you change, if anything?
If you don't know, keep your ears peeled for my teleclass coming in the new year...