You have to listen to be heard..

Folks who constantly interrupt before others complete a sentence to make a point (and I am guilty of this more often than I like to admit) forget a very simple principle – you have to listen to be heard.

And, by listen, I mean really listen. Not just nod fervently and prevent you get it. Real listening involves 3 things –

1. Showing understanding – some folks achieve this by demonstrating rapt attention while a few (wise) others do so by regularly paraphrasing what they heard

2. Letting others finish – they’re not done till they are done.

3. Being open to the possibility of your assumptions and world view being wrong– Now, you can follow points 1 and 2 all you like but if you aren’t open to the fact that the conversation you are having might just change the way you think and feel about something, it’s not listening. Don’t pretend the conversation matters. Just walk away. Or just call it preaching – don’t insult the term “conversation.”

If you, on the other hand, are following 1, 2, and 3 diligently while the folks conversing with you are not, walk away as well. Great conversation is a rare thing and doesn’t come easily. And, at the end of the day, it takes two (listeners) to tango..