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Monday, 27 May 2013

Master the Art of Active Listening ~ Levo League

Master the Art of Active Listening ~ Levo League

Great post from the Levo League - find out more at the link below

"Ashamed as I am to admit it, I’ve always had a hard time listening well. My mind goes a mile a minute, and while I try to process the things being said to me in conversation as best I can, I don’t always catch everything. Maybe you remember when a former manager berated me for zoning out while we were in the middle of a conversation. Needless to say, being a good listener hasn’t always been my strong suit, and I’m not proud of that.

But lucky for me, we aren’t born with active listening skills; we develop them by learning and then practicing them—so maybe there’s hope for me yet…!

Levo spoke with Terri McCullough during yesterday’s Office Hours. While McCullough today holds the incredibly powerful position as Executive Director of the Tory Burch Foundation, she met playwright and activist Anna Deavere Smith years back, and helped her build her nonprofit, Anna Deavere Smith Works, to support art that delved into social issues. It was Deavere Smith, author of the book Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines, who taught McCullough the art of active listening—a skill she herself used to create better characters for her plays.

The Chinese word for “listen” is t─źng. It’s composed of two characters, one which makes the word for “ear,” the other which stands for the eyes, undivided attention, and the heart. When we listen, we should be using our ears, obviously, but also our eyes, our undivided attention, and our hearts. Basically, we should be listening with our whole selves.

McCullough said one of the most important factors, when it comes to active listening, is that you’re not just sitting there waiting for your turn to speak. You need to really, deeply hear what the other person has to say, process it, and demonstrate that you understood what was said.

So if you want to be a better active listener—and I know I do!—McCullough pointed us in the direction of the things she’s learned throughout her diverse career in politics and non-profits.

Active listening is a powerful tactic....." to read more go to

Master the Art of Active Listening ~ Levo League

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