Become A Great Writer By Becoming A Great Listener

by Marjorie J ~ . Filed under: How To Improve Your Writing, How to Start Writing, Increase confidence in your writing skills, Where to Get New Story Ideas.

Want to really accelerate AND sustain your writing success? Listen up.

In order to be a successful and effective communicator, you’ve GOT to be a highly effective listener.  As a leader, LISTENING skills are MORE IMPORTANT than your speaking or writing skills …. No question

1. Quiet your mind and make a space for you to listen.
2. Resist the need to be in charge of the conversation.
3. Listen for ideas and central themes. A great listener should be able to mine at least one great great idea from every conversation.
4. Pay attention only to content, not delivery. Teach yourself to focus on what a speaker is saying and keep the message above the manner or method that the message is being delivered in at the time.
5. Be engaged and engaging. Use your skills to keep alert and aware of the conversation so you do not tune out the speaker.
6. Avoid getting your exercise by jumping to conclusions. It’s easy to assume that you know the rest of a sentence or message after hearing the beginning. Much of the time we are formulating our come-backs in our minds before someone has completed their full sentence. Get the whole message then respond.
7. Take notes if you are in an environment that will allow you to do that. This way you can stay engaged and the benefits are it will also enhance your memory, recollection skills, sharpen your reception, understanding and retention of the information.
8. Concentrate and resist distraction. Internal as well as external things going on around you.
9. Summarize the message being received. Chunk down the ideas into smaller bits of information you can apply to what you could use in your life.
10. Control your emotions. Learn your emotional triggers and be alert. Try not to take what you are hearing personally unless, of course, it is content that impacts you directly and was meant to be directed to you personally.
11. Stretch and exercise your mind. I have heard it said that the mind can only take on and comprehend one new thought a day.
12. Be an active listener. Practice, practice,practice.

Then take what you are hearing or have heard and begin to see how you can use it to write or improve your writing.

Since writing is another form of speaking, learning to listen will give you a place to start to improve your skills as a  writer.