Civility and manners,  Communication,  social skills

Listening skills

“One of the benchmarks of great communicators is their ability to listen — not just to what’s being said, but to what’s not being said as well. They listen between the lines.” ~ Laurie Buchanan, author

I’ve always been interested in how communication works — or doesn’t work — in our daily lives. Good listening skills are as essential to healthy relationships as good talk. Thankfully, I’m married to a guy who’s an outstanding, empathetic listener. (That’s him in the background of the photo above.) More often than not, however, I notice that other people are so focused on what they want to say next that they aren’t really listening to you.

As today’s quote points out, listening between the lines — for “what’s not being said” — is an important listening skill. To acquire it, we have to pay close attention. Is someone telling us the whole truth, or what they think we want to hear? ~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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