The next time you talk to someone, pay attention to yourself: Do you monopolize the conversation, barely allowing the other person to get a word in? As the other person speaks, are you thinking of what youre going to say next, or are you paying attention to what he or she is saying? If you normally do plan your next comment instead of quietly and carefully listening, youre missing the vital information the other persons trying to tell you because youre so busy trying to figure out how youre going to respond.
Begin to practice the fundamentals of communication by paying close attention while others are speaking. Ask clarifying questions, such as: When you say [such and such], do you mean [so and so]? or So you say you [fill in the blank]? When you actively listen and respond to others when theyre speaking, you improve your relationship with them and gain valuable information that can help you make decisions later.
You may also want to consider enrolling in a communications course to help you in this area, as my friend Beverly did. Not only will you develop as a person, but youll also improve your relationships and your career. Welcome and enjoy the benefits of a new level of communication.