Listen more, talk less

As a communication major, society assumes I talk a lot (and they’re right). Get a bunch of COMM/Journalism/English majors together and we will talk for hours – stop by a PRSSA board meeting and you’ll understand. We have a lot to say and we want to be heard instantly. However, the more you talk the less people will listen. If you have something to say all the time, people will stop tuning in unless it pertains directly to them.

How do you make sure your audience is always listening when you are speaking?

1. Listen more – This seems pretty basic. Step back and listen to what everyone is saying, half of the time someone else will say what you were going to mention anyway. The more you listen to your audience/friends/family the more they feel heard.

2. Acknowledge – Before you respond or speak out about an issue, acknowledge that you heard what people are saying. People like to hear you repeat the question or issue back to them.

3. Pause – When people are talking and you want to jump in and agree or dispute a claim, pause 3 seconds before cutting someone off. I will admit that I am an avid interrupter, but I am working on it! When you hear someone say something and you want to jump in, wait a few seconds – then say something along the lines of, “do you mind if I jump in real quick?”

These three steps will pay off largely in the end. Listen, acknowledge and pause before you speak – your non-COMM major friends will appreciate it, I promise.

Until next time…


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Lindsay Jordan says:

    This is great advice Meggan. I agree that as communication students we do talk a lot and about a large variety of topics! I find myself hoping that people are hearing me and paying attention so I think your second point of acknowledging what people are telling you and saying general is great! I like to have my points repeated back to me and I’m sure everyone else enjoys the shout out as well.

    Great points.

  2. Not sure what I love more, this post or the fact that you referenced a PRSSA board meeting. Good advice too. I think sometimes comm majors end up “communicating” just a little too much whether that’s constantly talking, tweeting, or sending 12 emails in a row. I know I’m guilty as charged. I also really like the lay-out/design of your blog. Would love a tutorial sometime. 🙂

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