Self-Control: The secret to successful speaking & listening

Technology allows us to communicate faster, more frequently, and to a wider audience. But who’s listening? The more we communicate, the harder it is to listen well—to focus on one person and their words. This is where self-control comes in—being able to pause yourself, and focus on the speaker and what they’re saying.

Do You Listen Well? Being well-listened to is better than a massage or wonderful vacation. Ok, those are better, but you get my point. Feeling listened to is the reason people pay big bucks for therapy, and why we seek friendships.

  • Do you listen without interrupting or checking your messages?
  • Do you listen for what the speaker wants, and/or what they want from you? (They may be asking for feedback, support, direction, honesty, reassurance or information.)
  • Do you listen to what’s not being said?
  • Do you try to understand the speaker’s feelings (without taking them on yourself)?

Self-control is a vital life skill, one of the greatest gifts parents can teach their kids. When we add self-control to conversations and speeches we model efficient respectful communication, and teach those skills to others.

Do You Speak Well? Self-control means asking these questions before you speak:

  • Why am I speaking; what purpose does this support?
  • Is this important—worth someone’s life moments?
  • Am I treating my listener with respect, and speaking with integrity?



Lucinda Atwood is a master teacher and coach with over twenty years of experience. She works with emerging and established leaders to develop their strengths, skills and the confidence to lead in alignment with their values. Through inspiration, coaching and practical exercises, Lucinda teaches her clients how to contribute fully and effectively while living their best lives.
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