Beth posted an interesting article on her Facebook page recently about how to be a better listener. This is a skill many of us need to hone and I wish this was mandatory for all those serving in a political office!
The article advises people to make one simple change when engaged in a conversation: focus on what is being said and not on what your response will be. This is a simple concept, but it is harder than it sounds. Think about how often some of us have to restrain ourselves from jumping in before the speaker even finishes their thought!
The writer of the article advises people to learn to summarize what was just said before launching into a response. Summarizing what was heard shows the speaker that you were really listening and gives the speaker a chance to clarify in case there was a misunderstanding. How often do you find that you weren't disagreeing with someone, you were just not communicating clearly!
Here is a link to the article: http://www.fastcompany.com/3042330/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/how-one-simple-change-can-make-you-a-better-listener
The world will become a better place if we all become better listeners!