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Listen So People Talk

How well do you listen?

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force.

The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward.

-Karl Menninger

I find myself moving toward those who really listen to me. Likewise, I want to be the kind of person who draws people I care about to me. Why?

· Loneliness reverses-you and your companion feel more connected.

· Belonging is confirmed-you feel part of your social group.

· Learning increases-you feel enriched.

· Companionship surges -you feel you are with a friend.

Marcus came to see me for counsel, but was not able to talk about what was troubling him. He seemed as though he didn't want to be there. He wore a grim expression and appeared restless. Yet I knew he had something to say. So I persisted, using six listening actions that eventually motivated him to tell me what was worrying him.

You too can encourage your friends to level with you when you listen skillfully. Building friendships through listening enables us to break free from mind-numbing self-preoccupation. Caring about others makes us more compelling to others and a better communicator. It increases our happiness.

Are you a good listener? Here's a simple test:

· Do people talk with you easily?

· Do they seem eager to tell you what's on their minds?

· Do they trust you enough to talk about topics that might not be considered "safe"?

· Do they appear to enjoy being with you?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you're on the right track. If you answered any of these with a no, you can learn some listening practices in my next post because they are like magnets that draw people to you.

Have a happy day!

Paul W. Swets

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