Listen with an exclamation mark after it seems odd. It infers listening loudly. This is one of the many important skills I will be teaching this afternoon at the StoryListeners Workshop. We're also covering how to be a better questioner, as a formal interviewer, but also (and more importantly) in regular conversation. The emphasis, however, will be on listening. As an experiment at the next business or social gathering you attend, stand back and watch people in conversation with each other. Is either person really listening? Are they so concerned with what they've got to say next that their minds are blocking out an important thing the other person is sharing with them? I see this all the time (and sometimes am guilty of it myself)! How much more will our lives be enriched if we simply listen with an exclamation mark after it?

This afternoon we'll be sharing new ways to practice skills that will lead us to better listening. I've found a whole new world opening up to me when I truly listen. I'm excited about teaching others how to do the same. Our next workshop is July 11. If you're interested in more info, respond to the contact page at LifeStories Alive's website .

Happy listening!