Silence can be one of the most
powerful forms of communication.
When we remain silent, we also improve the
odds that we’ll spot nonverbal cues we
might have missed otherwise.
Listen. That means don’t multitask. I’m not just
talking about doing email, surfing the web, or creating a
grocery list. Thinking about what you’re going to say next
counts as multitasking.
Simply focus on what the other person is saying.
The human mind is unable to genuinely
focus on 2 activities at once.
The moment you remove your attention from a
task, you can expect no meaningful learning or
skill development to take place.
Visible learning and the science of how we learn, location 2500.
Before the talking begins, skilled learners
mentally review what they already know
about the subject.
Then they set a goal for what to listen for.
Body facing the person.
No eye contact.
Closed, sunk down
No use of hands.
Eye contact helps develop trust.
Addis, Scott: Body language. Actions speak louder than words.
Rough Notes, July 2008.
Some people may avoid eye contact because
they are shy.
they were taught it was disrespectful to have
eye contact with superiors.
Clark, Thomas: Sharing the importance of attentive listening skills.
Journal of Management Education, April 1999.
In the Korean culture, it is considered a sign of extreme
disrespect for a young person, especially a woman, to
look straight into the eyes of an older person.
Sclavi, Marianella: The role of play and humor in creative conflict management.
Negotiation Journal, April 2008.
Examples of questions
Can you tell me more about that?
What does that really mean?
How do you feel about it?
How do you think that will go?
By asking questions you draw other
people in and engage them.
Ask questions from a position of curiosity.
Giving answers. Asking clarifying, open,
and specific questions help
people to, for example:
Types of questions
The listener does not have to agree with the
speaker - he or she must simply repeat what
he/she thinks the speaker said.
This enables the speaker to find out whether
the listener really understood.
Adopting words, body postures, positions
and movements that are similar to the
speaker will allow the speaker to relax and
open up more.
It’s impossible to work like this!
I hear that you find it difficult to work in these conditions.
What things are getting in the way?
What can I do to help you?
Kofman, Fred: Conscious Business, p. 157-158.
People can listen 3 – 5 times faster
than they can talk.
Because a listener can listen at a faster
rate than most speakers talk, there is a
tendency to evaluate too quickly.
Judgmental thinking is entrenched thinking.
Instead of judging them, judge yourself: An
idea might not strike you immediately, but if
you give it time, and a little thought, it could
Idea # 12
Reduce your need
to be right or better
Ability to pay attention
Need to be right
Kofman, Fred: Conscious Business, p. 156.
When you’ve had a long day and your partner is talking
through his or her stresses, it’s tempting to let your
partner know just how much bigger and more
important your own issues are. That only creates
Learn to simply listen and offer help to your partner.