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Listen for that Real Connection in Relationship Building

Posted By on April 1, 2010

Vergel Bradforf~art

May I Have Your Attention Please

Have you ever found yourself wondering if you are being heard, if a person is really getting it as you speak and share an idea, opinion or story?

Or you may have heard this one before that the picture in someone else’s mind is not going to process the same image or thought necessarily as yours. We might be hearing the same exact story right down to the most critical detail, but all the same we experience our very own images, ideas, questions or distractions.

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Talk About Distractions…

When I’ve observed my own mental distractions occur like crazy, going off on a wild tangent I often realize I’m missing huge chunks of the picture!

So here I am today thinking about how people can become literally blinded by distraction while someone is sharing their heart in a story as our mind swoops in and out of attention. It might be really brief, but have you noticed its seemingly provoked into, what’s evidently, a much more fascinating thought and it just takes off as though…. Well, as if it had a mind of its own!

While I don’t think it’s always a bad thing necessarily, I’d like to share a key point in that we should consider how the person on the delivering end may not be getting the attention they deserve. When the listener’s focus turns towards what’s on their own mind, perhaps even on to what they would love to interject then the connection is interrupted. The relationship is disconnected.

Of course there are many different situations when varying degrees of listening are going to be acceptable but my focus here is on the importance of doing what it takes to really be connecting as it pertains to the values of relationship building.

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Are you a good listener?

To be a really good listener we should be going into it with the mindset of focusing entirely on the other person. One of the reasons being is that to truly listen to someone often means to listen beyond the words and if we are distracted we will likely fall short of fully understanding.

When we are sharing and engaging, particularly when it is a newly formed acquaintance, it’s like a dance where we exchange words and it goes something like this: You step in, share a little, I share a little, and then you share a little so I share a little more…

In the end the person who gives the most thoughtful responses and receives the least amount or no judgment at all is the winner!

You see, it’s because they have now found someone to trust, to listen and they feel safe there. They weren’t interrupted and you allowed them to express their words which you regarded as important. What a gift. It was the gift of putting your interests on the back burner and allowing someone else to express their point of interest. And you not only gave, you also received something of value. You have not only gained someone’s respect, you understand and know them better, too.

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I Am Guilty Myself

Even the most courteous by the definition of courteous have trouble fighting the compulsion of inserting their clever opinions into another’s “presentation”. But indulging this bad habit can likely run the risk of being identified as self-centered and negatively affect relationships and true connections with others.

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What are your thoughts? Please do tell!

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Thanks for Coming by Today! Enjoy Your Day!

Robin

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About the author

Have had the pleasure of working from a home office since 1993 and sure want to keep it that way. It's nice just stepping outside my office to play in the garden or take a hike with my pets when the mood strikes. Many agree, the most rewarding job to have is one we choose make ourselves. Also, spending quality time with some of the greatest Social Media strategists & Blogging buddies. Hands-down some of the greatest teachers (givers) I personally know. Enthusiastic sharing is unusual in some parts! Not this community. Such a very cool blessing :)

Comments

19 Responses to “Listen for that Real Connection in Relationship Building”

  1. Emmie Olivas says:

    Robin-

    Great post on the gift of listening and giving back. Most often we do not listen and it can impact our relationship and it tells others that we do not value them. By taking time to listen and not think what you are going to say next can change your relationships.

  2. Robin,

    Great reminder about being fully present. It conveys great worth to those with whom we are engaged.

    Blessings,

    ~John
    .-= Dr. John McGinn´s last blog ..Help! I need a decision! =-.

  3. uberVU - social comments says:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ekodeski: RT @RobinLynnBrooks Listen for that Real Connection in Relationship Building http://bit.ly/d6rvkF...

  4. Robin,
    Ouch. Guilty as charged. LOL. I think that we often get so busy and have so many things going on that we forget about being present in the moment. Good listening, in my opinion, requires us to be present in the now. Thanks for the reminders to avoid distractions and give our utmost attention to the moment.
    Krista
    .-= Krista Abbott´s last blog ..GoDaddy: WordPress Incompatibility with Windows Platform =-.

  5. Robin,
    Please write more on this topic. I’m sure that in your career you have much more your could say. Listening is hard for many people, and a lot hasn’t been written about it.

    I really think it takes a conscious intent or effort to listen well and reflect appropriately. Many people have their own “trick” or method of keeping their attention where it belongs during a conversation. Any good ideas are always welcome.

    Al (and Sandy)

  6. Don Enck says:

    Robyn,
    Developing good listening skills is one of the hardest things to do. For me, it has been an ongoing process.

    The mind can easily become filled with “monkey chatter” and that is a huge distraction. Learning to focus all your attention on what someone is saying is where the gift of listening begins. When you accomplish this you can hear things that aren’t being said. You can read between the lines and hear the real meaning of the story.

    Thanks for the reminder to keep on this skill.
    .-= Don Enck´s last blog ..Do You Love Your Competition? =-.

  7. I love this post! Thank you so much Robin for reminding us about the monkey chatter! The art of listening is so important!

    Melissa
    .-= Melissa Mitchell´s last blog ..What are you Influenced By? =-.

  8. Bill says:

    Robyn,

    This is the true art of Selling, LOL being a good listener! To many times people simply look for you to take a breath than jump in.

    Great Post.
    .-= Bill´s last blog ..Day 30 of 30 Day Challenge =-.

  9. You’ve just inspired me to add an affirmation… “Listening while fully present is my gift to the speaker”. And the reason I chose this affirmation? I’m an interrupter. There, I said it.

    I truly believe that listening is a gift for the speaker. And you definitely learn more by listening than speaking. And I think we humans just really want to be heard (understood). Without judgment. I just have trouble translating that into reality.

    “I am an awesome listener!” Thanks!
    .-= Debbie Lattuga´s last blog ..Gratitude Walk =-.

  10. Val Wilcox says:

    Robin,
    There are essentially 3 ways to listen:
    The first is in agreement – you are busy thinking of how you agree with & are going to tell them that.
    The second is disagreement – you are busy thinking of how wrong they are & you’re going to point it out.
    The third is being with – listening to the person with your whole self. Not judging or worrying about what you’ll say next.

    We all know which is better, just like you said – being totally with the other person. Connecting minds and body language. :)

    Thanks for sharing this timely tip,
    Val :)
    .-= Val Wilcox´s last blog ..A Journey into Self- Discovery =-.

    • Robin Lynn Brooks says:

      Yes number three rings truly the best, in an unconditional sense we are best to not judge what they will say next as well. It is something to think about and prepare our minds for when encountering opportunities to really connect :)

  11. Beth Allen says:

    Active listening is one of the most difficult things for humans to master (in my opinion), especially the “busier” we are in life. I find when I have a million things going on, it is more of a challenge to settle in to a conversation and just be present. I always try, and sometimes fall short. It is a practice and an art, and being conscious of it is a great first step!

    Sadly I don’t think a lot of people even really how unconscious they are in their relationships. Thanks so much for writing on this topic, Robin!
    .-= Beth Allen´s last blog ..First-Class Blog Design Service Makes it Easier Than Ever to Share Your Passions! =-.

    • Robin Lynn Brooks says:

      Right, it is so a challenge to master active listening! I think you are not alone on your thoughts especially about when rushed to accomplish so many things in a day. I like to stop and think about what is in it for them if I do turn my focus entirely on. But of course timing does come into play. And it’s true, even if we are not rushed it is easy to catch our thoughts turning inward and miss some of what is being said. It is most surely an art – great description.

  12. Arlan Murata says:

    Hi Robin: Right on. Most people in sales talk to much. The best ones ask question and listen. In order to learn the wants, why and how much in order to help your prospect buy. The best conversationalist listen and don’t talk much. It makes you feel better.
    .-= Arlan Murata´s last blog ..Do You Treat People “Good”? =-.

  13. Phil Jackson says:

    I absolutely agree. Listening is the most important part of a conversation. In a way, it’s an act of respect and caring…to respect a person enough to care about what they want to say by listening.
    .-= Phil Jackson´s last blog ..Training Newbies Need To Grab =-.

  14. Robert Clark says:

    Great article, listening is and art that takes practice and we cannot succeed in business today with out it.

  15. Gabe Joseph says:

    I have to admitt that I am guilty of this at times. I find myself distracted by my own thoughts when listening or engaged in another activity. I recognize that it shows an aweful disrespect for the other person I’m engaged in a conversation with. I’m committed to changing that behavior. I will become a better listener. Thanks for such a great post and a great blog. Keep it up!

  16. Arlan Murata says:

    Hi Robin: Rereading your post gives me another insight. Am I connecting? Listening and responding is my disconnect. What are the words that link us? I guess it may not what you say but what you do. Thx

  17. Paul Zelizer says:

    Did you say something Robin? ;~)

    It’s amazing to me how many people people think social media and business are about talking. I really appreciate your thoughtful reminder about the power of deep listening!

    Thanks!

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Have had the pleasure of working from a home office since 1993 and sure want to keep it that way. It's nice just stepping outside my office to play in the garden or take a hike with my pets when the mood strikes. Many agree, the most rewarding job to have is one we choose make ourselves. Also, spending quality time with some of the greatest Social Media strategists & Blogging buddies. Hands-down some of the greatest teachers (givers) I personally know. Enthusiastic sharing is unusual in some parts! Not this community. Such a very cool blessing :)
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