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#ygkChallenge: Communicate Better by Listening

Greatest Photo Contest, Photo CallWelcome to Kingstonist’s weekly challenge, dare, resolution or whatever you prefer to call it. Each week we establish a new and ambitious community goal, encouraging our readers, followers, friends and families to step out of their comfort zones and do something great, and hopefully a little out of the ordinary. Consider this your official and personal invitation to join us in completing a small but meaningful achievement. By taking part in this community-wide initiative, we hope to make Kingston a slightly better place to live, work and play. And of course, we also hope that you will feel proud of your contribution and achievement.

This week’s challenge encourages you to:

Strengthen your communication skills by lending an ear to someone in need! The idea of listening to someone sounds so simple! Yet many people go through life not feeling heard. In school, we are extensively taught to read and write but there is not as much emphasis put on listening as part of effective communication. This week, I challenge you to speak less and listen more. Try understanding others on a deeper level by putting yourself in their shoes and taking interest in what they have to say. Given, not all conversations require such level of empathic listening but when the opportunity arises, which is more often than one might think, take it! Through empathic listening, we build trust and respect, decrease stress and tension, increase the speaker’s self-esteem and confidence, and allow the person in need to release their emotions. We all want to be acknowledged and heard on some level and when we do this for others they will (hopefully) in turn be there for us when we need it.

Sign up and commit to completing this week’s challenge by commenting below with an “I’m in”, “challenge accepted”, “en garde” or something along those lines. Further, help us spread the word via Twitter and Facebook by using the hashtag: #ygkchallenge. As you work towards completing this week’s task, please feel free to lend others a helping hand by providing tips on how you achieved success.

Thanks to Niclas Lindh for today’s photo.

Ted Hsu for MPP
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Alanna Kuhn

Alanna Kuhn has retired as a contributor to Kingstonist. She is a Naturopathic Doctor and co-owner of Kingston Natural Route Health. She regularly contributed to Kingstonist's weekly #ygkchallenge, encouraging Kingstonians to explore healthier lifestyle options.

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