Matt’s Home News July 2014 Edition – Are You Listening?

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Are You Listening?

We’ve all heard that listening is the greatest compliment we can show to another person. Yet we are all constantly guilty of what Steven Covey called “autobiographical listening.” That’s listening with only half an ear, while in our heads we are busy preparing what to say next.

It is said that Franklin Delano Roosevelt, US President, so despised this, that he devised a test. When a petitioner asked how he was doing, he would say, “I murdered my grandmother this morning.” Most of the time he got a noncommittal response, proving the other person was probably rehearsing what to say next. (Although, one person trumped him by saying, “I’m sure she had it coming to her.”)

In a world where our attention is constantly being demanded by electronic devices, it is an even greater compliment than ever before to pay attention to one another, to lift our faces out of our phones and be 100% present.

One way to practice the art of listening well is to do something called “Parrot Phrasing.” During conversations with family, co-workers, your boss, and friends, you occasionally say back to the person exactly what they said to you, switching only the pronouns. After parroting what they said, you can add a question or comment.

For example, if they say, “I’ve had a horrible run of luck at work lately.” You can say back, “You’ve had a horrible run of luck at work lately. What’s been happening?”
Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.


Matthew Haviland
Your Real Estate Consultant For Life

P.S. If you’ve got a story to tell, you can reach me at, or by calling me at 609-338-3773.

P.P.S.  If you have not seen my post about our upcoming golf tournament please click here for details.  This year’s event is to benefit my Aunt Denise.  Please help.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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