I have definitely got better at listening as I have got older. I mean really listening. That's quite an achievement for someone that's a really enthusiastic extravert like me. I'm not saying there isn't room for improvement; I mean we are all of us perpetual 'works in progress' after all.
It occurred to me this week that listening properly is possibly one of the kindest things you can do for someone. And it also occurred to me that most of us probably are not used to being listened to - not properly. I might even go so far as to say that many of us probably have some 'hang-ups' about not being listened to because the vast majority of children just weren't listened to back in our day and proper listening was certainly rarely domonstrated in my childhood!
I used to think what I articulated was the quickest way to impress others and hopefully leave them thinking I was worth knowing. I now think differently!