My children aren't perfect listeners, but sometimes I think they are better at this task than some adults I know! I played bunco last night with an amazing group of ladies. We've been playing bunco together for years and I always look forward to the glass of wine and great conversation that goes with the night out. But one thing always amazes me. Some adults can not listen! They are expert talkers, but listening is not a talent they possess.
Here is a hint....if you leave an event without any information about the people you were with, you did not listen. On the other hand, if you found out about one friend's car trouble, another friend's vacation plans, or laughed hysterically hearing stories of children and/or husbands...congrats! You have mastered the art of listening.
So this is the goal. See how much information you can get from others. You may need to ask a question or two. Just the basics...
How are you?
What have you been up to?
Nothing complicated required, but what follows is really important. You will need to shut your mouth and listen to the answers. Listen without thinking about something else or what you want to say next. Listen with the idea of paraphrasing what the other person has said. So this is my lesson to my children today. Ask a question, and listen. Why? It makes other people feel good.