CHAPTER 8

What Did You Say?

Developing Your Ability to Listen

“I missed that announcement. When did that happen?”

“Are you sure you told me about the change in location?”

“I didn’t hear a thing about the new policy.”

“You never listen to me. I might as well be talking to a wall socket.”

In a world of almost unlimited communication tools, we seem to be sorely lacking one of our most critical communication skills: listening. Not that our culture encourages listening. Talk show guests and interviewers fight each other to be heard, speaking all at once. We talk on the telephone while surfing the Web or watching TV. Workplace “conversations” take place amid all kinds of competition for our attention—the computer screen, that stack of mail on our desk, ...

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