"Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend." ~Diogenes Laetius Good morning! Good listening skills are important to enhancing our relationships with family, friends and colleagues. Let's take a quick "refresher course" on the "Five Basics." RULE #1 - Listen with your whole body. When listening to your anyone, the cliche' - "actions speak louder than words" - should be remembered. Turn off the television, keep good eye contact, put down the paper or file and give the person your undivided attention. RULE #2 - Ask questions. Asking questions will show your interest and help make sure you are hearing what the other person is saying. It will also extend a conversation and open up more areas to talk about. RULE #3 - Do not interrupt. Plain and simple, do not interrupt. RULE #4 - Don't have all the answers. While someone may come to you for answers, it's better to ask questions and encourage others to find the answers on their own. RULE #5 - Repeat, repeat, repeat. Repeat what the person says. This will assure the person that you are listening and you will know you are understanding their message. Your Turn: Reread the five rules above. Is there any rule where you might be falling a little short? Write those rules down and work on practicing them in the following week. Your Affirmation: I listen to others with care and compassion.