Civility and manners,  Communication

Active listening

“Active listening and communication will aid you in the ability to understand and relate to others’ feelings and circumstances.” ~Shannen Zitz, Prevention magazine

Have you noticed lately that most people simply wait for others to stop talking so that they can start reciting their own monologues? That’s not active listening.

What does it mean to be an active listener? Active listeners are curious and have a sincere interest in other people. They hush their own egos and pay attention when other people speak; they’re not preoccupied with themselves.

Active listening requires discipline. It means we have to focus on the content of what the other person is saying — and retain the information long enough to ask follow-up questions. As today’s quote suggests, active listening is a skill that deepens our relationships. ~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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