Thursday, May 14, 2009

Include Your Listeners

Originally uploaded by Carlo Nicora

One time I went on a date that I thought was going well. The dinner was nice. The conversation during dinner had been good. We had a lot in common, or so I thought. As I was driving her home I suddenly realized she was responding to me with one word answers such as, "Yes.", "No.", and so on. She was staring straight ahead and her eyes were glazed over. She was no longer interested in our conversation. No matter what I brought up, I couldn't get much more of a response from her. I was essentially talking to myself. Needless to say the night ended without a second date in my future.

Looking back, part of the problem was that I wasn't considering my listener. We had made decent conversation about the couple of things we had in common earlier in the night, but I had run out of things to talk about and I was starting to talk about things that didn't involve my listener. As a result, she had nothing to add.

What do you talk about? Do you include your listeners? Whether it's your blog, casual conversation, or any other area of your life it's important to include people in your conversation. After all, who wants to have conversations with themselves?

No one likes being around someone who likes to hear themselves talk.

If you're not asking questions, you're not including your listener. If you're asking questions, but thinking of what to say next while they answer, you're not including your listener. If you're only talking about the mundane things in your life, you're not including your listener. When you don't include your listener, they will have nothing to add, and you may never get another chance.

In short, if you don't include your listener, don't expect to get a second date.


Tim Jahn said...

I catch myself doing this all the time in conversations. I find it helps to really pay attention to how well you're listening. Think about what the other person is saying and not about your response.

As you say, it's very important to include your listener because without them, you're talking to yourself. And that's pretty boring.

Andrew Weaver said...

Not only is it boring, it's crazy. ;-)