Steve Goodier Wisdom: Listen With Your Eyes
In this inspirational article, master storyteller, Steve Goodier, shares a key piece of life wisdom about listening. Enjoy!
An expert on whales was telling friends about some of the unusual findings he had made. “For instance,” he said, “some whales can communicate at a distance of 300 miles.”
“What on earth would one whale say to another 300 miles away?” asked a sarcastic member of the group.
“I’m not absolutely sure,” answered the expert, “but it sounds something like this: ‘Heeeeeeey! Can you hear me nowwww!?!’ “
Hearing well is only part of effective communication. But another, and often more important part, is frequently overlooked. It does not concern the ears, however, but the eyes.
According to Leil Lowndes (TALKING THE WINNER’S WAY, Contemporary Books) Boston researchers asked opposite-sex individuals to have a two-minute casual conversation. They tricked half their subjects into maintaining intense eye contact by directing them to count the number of times their partner blinked. They gave the other half of the subjects no special eye-contact directions for the chat.
When questioned afterward, the unsuspecting blinkers reported significantly higher feelings of respect and fondness for their colleagues who, unbeknownst to them, had simply been counting their blinks. One might conclude that, for respect and fondness, count blinks! But the larger message is: good eye contact will dramatically improve your relationships.
Ears are not the only organs essential for great listening. Whether you’re talking to a spouse, a colleague, a neighbor, a child or a stranger, eye contact is essential. When eyes are focused away from distractions and onto the speaker, the message you communicate most clearly is, “I value you.”
Listen with your eyes as well as your ears and you may notice an immediate improvement in your relationships!
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