- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Are You a Good Listener?
Ahhhhh, the art of listening....not very many people have this ability. Have you ever noticed that most people are not very good listeners? We are all guilty of it, including myself. Recently I had a session with a counselor that I taped, and after listening to it, I realized that it was "me" that talked through most of the session.
The strange thing about it was, I thought that she did most of the talking, until I played it back. There I was rambling on and on, not even realizing I was doing that.
In my work, I practice listening a great deal. It is my clients hour, so I want to hear what is going on with them, and what it is they want to talk about. If they want me to talk about my stuff, I will, but mostly it is a mutual exchange of conversation.
I had a phone call from someone recently that made me think about how we are so unaware of our own behavior. In this call this man was telling me that his daughter had made a comment to him that she didn't like to visit him because he always talked about himself and didn't really care about what she had to say. He was miffed by this statement from her, because as he told me, he did not do that.
Well I have known him all of my life, and I can tell you that it is true, he always just talks about his stuff and himself. During this hour conversation he and I had, I talked for maybe five or ten minutes, but was interrupted by him multiple times. He never asked anything about what was going on with me, but just talked all about him.
He is not a good listener. There are so many people just like him. When someone else is talking, they are thinking about what they are going to say next, and really aren't listening to what anyone else is saying.
Conversations should be a mutual exchange. Listen when someone else is talking. We all like to be heard, and we all like to have our chance to express ourselves as well. Listening can be a gift for anyone who is having trouble or needs someone to hear them.
You can learn a lot when you are a good listener. I have had one of the best educations I could ever have gotten from all of the years I have listened to my clients. Think about it, I have trained successful Actors, Musicians, Writers, Business people, Royal family members, and many other very interesting souls that have given me hours and hours of listening pleasure about their work and lives.
Listening is a great skill that will help you in whatever endeavor you decide to do. It is a skill that great leaders have. It is a skill that will always benefit you.
So think about how much you are listening, and how much you are talking. Being a good listener is also being a good friend. Sometimes we need to listen, and sometimes we need to be heard. Make sure you have a balance with these two, it will help you to be a better person.