Are You Listening?

Deb Dobbs, M.A., offers Communication Training and Coaching to enhance your impact and influence in the world. Meet her at the Euclid Chamber Greenhouse. Reach her at:, on Calendly: or

When you listen, what do you get? Are you inundated with repetitive, useless content? Have you wondered why you never get the information you ask for? Are there times when it seems no one is listening to you? Listening is a complicated communication process. It takes skill and patience to master the ability to shut off inner thoughts and focus on a request for information as it is offered. Likewise, it is challenging to shut off inner thoughts when you have strong feelings about the topic, source or content. As a partner in the listening process, your interpretation of circumstances is critical to what you hear or how you respond.

To get better at sharing information in a timely manner, you want to use a two-part process. First, be observant of the conditions in which you are hearing content. Avoid common barriers to listening which may include: (1) a fuzzy focus – not being able to identify a direct and specific line of thought about your point; (2) pre-judging or jumping ahead –  coming to a conclusion without all the facts; (3) mitigating circumstances – being distracted by prevailing issues that take attention from you; or (4) biases – closely held beliefs that cut off the opportunity to discuss a topic from an objective point of view. The second part of the process requires you to be proactive. When you want others to listen to you, you need to be the one to neutralize barriers for them. Use active listening statements to gain consensus. Then respond for understanding, not one-upmanship.

Maximize your interpersonal communication skills to improve your relationships. Everything starts with a conversation. Try out my suggestions and let me know how it goes, at Calendly: or

Deb Dobbs

I am a communication consultant and entrepreneur.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 8:51 AM, 07.30.2019