My ‘Active Listening Manifesto’

My ‘Active Listening Manifesto’

“The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent’’.   – Alfred Brendel 

A friend of mine recently reminded me of the importance of active listening. Often in the business of daily activities, I neglect to proactively listen to those who I am in conversation with. I can drift off into thinking of the brilliant response or retort I will deliver or thinking of what I need to do next or where I need to go to next when we’re done conversing.

I realized I need to focus again on my active listening skills. Hence, I am declaring to you my ‘Active Listening Manifesto’. 

  • Without interrupting others, I will let them complete their sentences and thoughts. I will not interrupt. I will thoughtfully listen to their point of view. 
  • I will communicate person-to-person or face-to-face when the topic calls for deep context and clear communication to avoid hidden messages that are often read into emails or text messages.
  • I will engage in body language that communicates to the other person that I am actively listening and engaged.   
  • I will be present at all times and when I notice drifting on my part, I will shift my body to bring awareness back to the present.  
  • I will practice the techniques of active listening that I teach: repeating, reflecting or reframing.  
  • I will not multi-task during any conversation, especially virtual conversations. 
  • If for any reason I am not 100% available to achieve the above, I will request the conversation be rescheduled until I can be fully present. 
  • I will remain curious during all conversations using questions to stimulate thoughts and clarify points.  

 “Seek first to understand, then be understood.”  – Stephen Covey,  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 

What would you include in your ‘Active Listening Manifesto’?  

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