3 Tips To Being a Better Listener

I am obsessive. I am rarely content. I am always looking to better myself and I have a nonstop stream of ideas constantly rattling around in my head. I used to think that the noise is what was going to give me an edge. I was wrong. I was way wrong.

The real advantage comes from the calm. Not the manic inner workings of my anxiety ridden brain.

Step one:

Have a schedule. It is next to impossible for me to focus on the task at hand if I do not know what is happening next. There is a great deal of freedom in having an organized and coherent plan of attack for your day. I primarily work from home so it is really easy to start day dreaming about what project I have to work on next. I have been trying to make sure I schedule time to talk to my son when he gets home from school. The same goes with my fiance. I literally schedule time to give them my undivided attention.

Step two:

Meditation has changed my life in a profound way. I am not a monk and I am no mental health expert, but I can attest from personal experience. Meditating on a regular basis, (ten minutes a day), has had a profound affect on my life. Ask my fiance. From meditating I have been able to really observe how loud my head is. After practicing meditation I started to understand that the noise, self doubt, and the constant loop of reactions to emotions was not only happening when I slowed down. It was constant. It was affecting every area of my life. The only thing that made it get better was by sitting down and intentionally letting go.

Step three:

I started asking better questions. I used to say things like, “I hate small talk, I refuse to do it.” A good way to avoid small talk to is to listen to people and then ask them about themselves. I could be wrong but I think most people hate small talk. The next time someone asks you about the weather try this. Look them in the eyes for a few seconds and ask them about their day. Then pause and wait for a response.

After spending my 20's not trying I am spending my 30's trying.