Civility and manners,  Communication,  Friendship and relationship advice

Are you really listening?

“It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Have you ever noticed that some people are always thinking about what they want to say next — and not fully listening to you?

In the age of constant chatter, listening is an unsung, unspoken skill. Talking, after all, is only half of a great conversation. Attentive listeners pay close attention; they don’t try to hijack or dominate a topic. Skilled listeners ask thoughtful follow-up questions after you’ve had your say, and even remember details that you’ve shared in previous conversations.

Careful listening leads to healthier relationships and a better understanding of everyone we encounter. It’s a generous gift — and a skill worth developing. If you missed my newspaper column “The Gift of Gab: Learning How to Talk to Each Other Again,” you can read it online here. ~CL

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Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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