Best Practices for Life (original Sept. 18, 2012)

silence 2


Leading: (1) practice compassion, (2) encourage others, (3) set boundaries, (4) define success for yourself and others, and (5) act.  

Listening: (1) focus intently on what others are saying, (2) make no assumptions about what you are hearing, (3) ask little questions to test your assumptions, (4) cultivate and convey interested silence, and (5) then withdraw to listen to your heart and your intuition before speaking.

Observing: (1) focus as clearly as possible knowing you will still miss a lot, (2) avoid multitasking when you are with people, and (3) adapt body language including vocal tone that tells others you are present to them.

In doubt: (1) avoid defending, (2) ask even more little questions, not to trip someone up, but out of genuine curiosity, and (3) listen even more and with joy. 

Certain: ask more questions.

Confronted: (1) breathe, (2) practice being calm, (3) relax your body, especially your face and arms, (4) listen and ask little questions as before, (5) avoid defending.

To hone these skills and your awareness consider:

  1. what about listening stumps you (e.g., is it hard not to multitask, or make lists or plan, or demonstrate your brilliant logic when someone is talking)?
  2. when confronted, what one or two things really set you off (e.g., certain words or tone of voice)?
  3. when you ask questions, do they reflect genuine curiosity or are your questions a form of interrogation?

Tag Line:  It is hard to model what you would hope others would do in a conversation.  But, the more you practice, the better you get and the easier it becomes.

To help you polish and share with others. Thank you.

Any reflections?  Questions?  I always reply, and comments just make my day.  For daily reflections follow Doc Peg is IN on Facebook & Twitter; and LinkedIn @Margaret Herrman.  Call if you need help.  A half-hour assessment is free
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