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By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

“Paradoxically, in our age of constant communication, the raw material of conversation has actually disappeared: listening. Genuine, real listening is a rare commodity and a great gift, because you are giving to the person you are listening to your most valuable asset: your attention.

Here are a few suggestions of how to do it right, based on the communication technique ‘active listening’ devised by Carl Rogers and Richard Farson in 1957.

  • Listen, don’t talk. Resist talking about yourself. If they are talking about troubles they are having at work, don’t tell them you hate your job. It’s never the same. All experiences are individual. And, more importantly, it’s not about you.
  • Don’t finish the other person’s… Some people have a tendency of impatiently finishing the sentence or thought of the person they are talking to. Although very slow thinking and talking can be irritating, don’t interrupt, even if you think it might show empathy.
  • Your body language says a lot. Look the other person in the eye – but don’t stare. Nod – but only if you want to agree with what they are saying or show that you have understood something important.
  • Notice the little things. Listen out for details in what they are saying and pick up on these later. This makes it easier to ask questions (‘You mentioned that you spent a lot of time as a child at your grandmother’s – what kind of relationship did you have with her?’). And it lets the other person know that you were really listening.
  • Be a friend, not a judge. Resist the impulse of giving the other person advice – unless of course they specifically ask for it. Instead, take the conversation back to an exciting, important part of the story (p. 86-88).”

From: Krogerus, M., & Tschappeler, R. (2018). Translated by: Piening, J., & Jones, L. The communication book: 44 ideas for better conversations every day. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

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“We talk about the heart every day. It’s part of our natural vocabulary. For thousands of years, we have spoken of it as more than just a pump. But have you ever really thought about what it means? When we say somebody spoke from the heart, it means they spoke with meaning, insight, and sincerity. Or that the deeper reality of each of us is reflected when we’re following our heart.

That is why we say that the heart of the matter is always a matter of the heart, and that the four universal principles live within the heart, arranged in matching pairs above and below a central line. They are the deeper reality of our character, our thinking, and our behavior. They are a source of insight and clarity about how we each work, love, and live. Understanding what is happening in somebody else’s heart is how we feel compassion or empathy.

Love is our greatest need. Rejection is our greatest fear. We spend our lives seeking love and avoiding rejection. As John Lennon once said, ‘There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.’ We feel these two drivers in our own behavior and recognize them in the behavior of others. If we can grasp this wisdom, it will guide us to effective life relationships and successful leadership (p. 57-58).”

From: Klemich, S. & Klemich, M. (2020). Above the line: living and leading with heart. New York: Harper Business

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By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, February 02nd, 2021

“The first principle of emotional intelligence is self-awareness. This is the most basic of the principles. It is there, so you know what you are doing, how you are doing it, and why you behave the way that you do. Your ability to be self-aware is highly dependent upon your ability to pay attention to yourself in the moment. If you want to be self-aware, you must be able to touch base with yourself.

This particular skill is crucial – without it, you cannot hope to be able to go any further with your own emotional intelligence. If you struggle with being emotionally intelligent, you need to keep in mind that at the end of the day, this skillset sets the stage for everything. How can you self-regulate without self-awareness? How can you hope to be socially aware if you cannot be self-aware? How can you actively and skillfully help yourself manage relationships if you cannot pay attention to yourself and how you behave?

Self-awareness is one of those that many people, unfortunately, struggle with greatly, despite the importance of this principle. If you are able to take better control of yourself with your self-awareness, however, you can begin to defeat the problems that you have. If you are struggling with emotional intelligence, this is the most likely culprit and you will want to start her to fix your problem (p. 76).”

From: Bradberry, B. (2020). Emotional intelligence: develop empathy and increase your emotional agility for leadership, improve your social skills to be successful at work and discover why it can matter more than iq/eq 2.0 [Kindle version]. Retrieved from

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