Personal Development Exercises 1. Listening Skills

Each time I deliver a women’s personal development course, or work one to one with someone, I always find myself learning something new too; personal development never stops. My clients often joke that I must be the most developed woman on the planet!

But of course it doesn’t work like that; we’re learning and changing all of the time and each time we do an exercise we can get a different result. It just depends where our life is at that moment in time. It’s not about being happy all the time (how dull would that be?) or accepting everything life throws at us without demure, but more about living your life to the full. Really living it, and living it consciously and mindfully, not just reacting to stuff that happens.

Women who regularly pay attention to their personal development feel more in control and have more understanding of what they want from life.

So for the next week or so I’m going to give you a series of very short personal development exercises to try out each day. If now isn’t a good time for you, save them in your bookmarks and come back to them later. Do have a go, even if you’ve done them before, because life moves on and things change.

Are You a Good Listener?

Most of us think we are but in truth few of us have really mastered the art of meaningful listening. So try this out for the next two days-

Pick someone close to you, close in the sense that you see them regularly like a work colleague or a family member, and decide to listen to them. When you ask them a question, or get caught up in a conversation, listen intently to what they are saying and how they are saying it (tone, body language) and do not allow your mind to race ahead to what you want to say in response or begin making judgements of them. Don’t interrupt or speak over them or chip in with an anecdote of your own. Simply listen.

Make sure they know they are the total object of your attention. Nod, smile, encourage them to go on talking. Ask them questions to help them better explain what they want to say. Sum up what they’ve said if it’s appropriate before putting in your two penn’orth.

See how that feels, you may be surprised at how it improves communication and deepens your levels of understanding and empathy.

There’s more on improving your listening skills here

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Posted on August 12th, 2012 by

One Response to “Personal Development Exercises 1. Listening Skills”

  1. Marian Thier says:

    Nice,and I’d add to pay attention to the differences in the way people listen as well as what they listen to/for. We each have a unique listening style and being able to identify that in others is way better than foisting our listening preferences on others. The listening Golden Rule should be: Listen to others as they would have you listen to them. Thanks

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