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Learning to Listen: Body Language

As a resident assistant, I remember feeling carried away with fascination as our mentor taught us about the ways to say “I’m listening” with our manner and posture.  I had always considered listening to be a task managed with ease by my ears and I was intrigued by the idea that it was a whole body endeavor.  So, without further adieu I will relate to you the ways we can listen with our whole selves.

Today’s topic:

Eye Contact.  Have you ever tried to talk to someone and maintain eye contact for more than a few seconds?  It’s rare that people will hold your gaze for very long.   I like to think that earnest regard can be conveyed through eyes willing to see the speaker, whether the person is 4 or 44.   In the 14 years since I was taught this lesson, there have been technological advances (i.e. my iPhone) that have forced me to be intentional about trying to connect and listen with my eyes.  I do that by seeking eye contact.  Sometimes it takes looking at the side of someone’s head for a bit (because they’re looking at anything but me) but I keep offering it regardless.  People say a lot of things with their eyes…have you noticed?

Tomorrow…Listening; with your arms.

Until then!


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