You were saying?

A recent Wall Street Journal article: No one listening? Maybe you're the problem cited a common communication failure. If you've ever said "I can't make myself heard in meetings or conversations" the WSJ article suggests self-examination. Do you ramble on, without purpose and unaware of your listener's interest? Do you fail to recognize cues that others would like to join the conversation? Are you truly paying attention, without being distracted by various devices or screens?

We tend to blame inattention on our fast-paced society, short attention spans or lack of intellectual curiosity. Whatever the reason, we're less effective today at Homo Sapiens' greatest attribute, the exchange of ideas through dialogue.

But give yourself a break. In our partnership, if David likes someone, he can talk the paint off a barn. If Deborah is excited about a recent project, details flow abundantly. Even though verbosity can come from a good place, you still need to measure your word count and self-edit. Most of all, be present. Beware of delivering an "internal monologue." Hone your observational skills, and ask questions so you can steer the conversation into a meaningful area. "Be Here Now" has never been more important.

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