|07-10-2009, 05:02 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
The absolute best course? Wow. There are books about this stuff. That's a tough question to answer.
Well, a conversation involves talking and listening. To be a good talker one must be a good listener. Here's my take on listening.
Listening: Generously listen to the person who you are talking with and show a true genuine interest for who he/she is and what he/she is saying in the most honest, open and friendly manner possible.
Genuine listening also involves suspending your own judgments and agendas so you can be right there with the other person. Oh, how we love to give our opinions and advice when they are not asked for.
One neat trick i like to do is to visualize an invisible room that blocks out the rest of the world when i really want to truly listen to someone.
When you are a pool of appreciation and acceptance, conversation just flows. You are making the other person feel at home.
Keep your eyes on the person's face. You are listening to him/her with great attention, remember?
There are so many little things. But listening, i find, is of vital importance.
|07-10-2009, 07:05 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Los Angeles
A good course on effective communication is difficult to come by.
I have to say the best class I ever took was with Professor Marde Gregory.
It would be impossible to recount the entirety of the class, but Marde did a wonderful job of exposing and breaking down a lot of common, bad communication habits, while showing the class how to effectively communicate. Rather than lecture, the 2 hour class met and we literally talked for the entire class. Our subjects would range from day to day, but Marde was sure to provide an excellent example and suggest improvements for each of us.
The number one thing she said people forget to do is to LISTEN. Listening means not just hearing the words, but it means to actively pay attention, to actively remember what is said, to think critically about what is said, and then to formulate a response. Many people get in arguments where either side practically ignores the other, and is so set on telling their part of the story that they never bother to listen to what the other side has to say.
One thing I really took out of that class is an appreciation for quality of communication over quantity of communication. Marde speaks slowly and clearly, often pausing and taking time to respond. This is because every word said is done so deliberately, after thinking about the message.
The most frequent breakdown in communication is misunderstanding between the parties involved. I find that I rarely meet a person who I can't have a great conversation with as long as we each remember to listen.
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