Listen — actually.
I’ve been doing this thing lately where I make a conscious effort to let people speak until they stop themselves. It’s hard…really hard. Go ahead and judge me for being a bad listener, but I guarantee that most of us do not let others continue speaking until, on their own accord, they are done.
By giving people a (sometimes awkward) extra second of pause after I think they’re done talking, it amazes how often they actually had more to say and how bad I was at predicting when they were done.
Just because we think others are done talking, nine times out of ten, they’re not.
This simple effort that I’ve been making and trying to habitualize in daily conversations has made all my interactions calmer —for lack of a better descriptor: less verbally competitive.
Even if we think we’re listening, we’re probably not.