Listening skills


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Listening skills

  2. FAST FACTS• We listen at 125-250 wpm, think at 1000-3000 wpm• 75% of the time we are distracted, preoccupied or forgetful• 20% of the time, we remember what we hear• More than 35% of businesses think listening is a top skill for success• Less than 2% of people have had formal education with listening
  4. WHY BE A GOOD LISTENER?Needs of the Speaker…To be recognized and rememberedTo feel valuedTo feel appreciatedTo feel respectedTo feel understoodTo feel comfortable about a want or need
  5. Listening is the most powerful form of acknowledgment …a wayof saying,“You are important.”
  6. …creates a desire toLISTENING BUILDS cooperate amongSTRONGER people because theyRELATIONSHIPS feel accepted and acknowledged.
  7. Listening promotes being heard…”Seek first to understand, thenbe understood.” - Stephen Covey
  8. Listening creates acceptance and openness …conveys the message that“I am not judging you.”
  9. Listening leads to learning …openness encourages personal growth and learning
  10. Listening reduces stress and tension …minimizes confusion and misunderstanding, eliminating related stress and tension
  11. Listening is CRITICAL in conflict resolution…much conflict comes from the need to be heard.Successful resolution depends on being a non-anxiouspresence.
  12. A Little Book of Listening Skills for the Workplace 52 essential practices for profoundly transforming production, profits and people AUTHOR: Mark Brady, Ph.D. PUBLISHER: Piadeia Press DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2006 NUMBER OF PAGES: 103 pagesMake a Mindmap of 10 Listening Skills
  13. 52 Listening SkillsStop talking so much! To stop talking so much is one of the most basic things required to become an accomplished listener. During conversations, observe who is doing most of the talking, is it you or someone else? The first thing to do is to notice yourself; this primary awareness is a good start. After awareness comes a possible array of options. First is simply to decide to stop talking so much. This may be achieved by asking questions such as: “What are your views?” “What is on your mind?” Another method of passing conversation is by acknowledging with a smile or a nod, this encourages others to talk.
  14. 52 Listening SkillsCreate a culture of trust Effective and meaningful communication exists when there is trust. To become a skillful listener, you have to build trust. There are different ways to establish trust and the most common is to become trustworthy. You achieve this by always putting trust and integrity above everything else.
  15. 52 Listening SkillsListen for disrespect When a conflict arises, there are usually two things that come about. First is the issue, and second, which is not always talked about, is the feeling of disrespect that people get from another. As long as there is a feeling of disrespect, conflicts are rarely solved. The feeling of disrespect must be first addressed before the issue. It is because this feeling is the seeming cause of most conflicts.
  16. 52 Listening SkillsListen for mutual purpose Lack or loss of mutual purpose is the second most common cause of conflict. Few conflicts will be resolved unless there is a foundation that will reinforce or re-establish this. Listening for mutual purpose is important in the success of both business and personal relationships.
  17. 52 Listening Skills Be slow to disagree, argue or criticize There is always criticism, argument and disagreement in the workplace. But when you engage in such behavior you cannot hear what the other person is trying to say. With this behavior you continuously try to get your point across and become less of a listener. Skillful listeners will allow others to speak and say what they need to say.
  18. 52 Listening Skills Pay special attention to the need for control If two or more people are talking at the same time, there is often a subtle power struggle that happens. When such conversations arise, it is really an exercise in one-upmanship and competition for control. But if you learn to selectively attend to content and emotional tone this will allow you to hear the deeper needs that are expressed by the speaker.
  19. 52 Listening SkillsGet comfortable with silence Silence is critical to becoming a skillful listener. It is in silence where ideas unfold because people get to think. A listener allows others to discover what they think, feel, want and how one can be of service. In silence, you not only listen to others but you also listen to yourself and discover what it may take to perform more fully.
  20. 52 Listening SkillsListen to be able to take unconflicted action Unconfilcted action happens when decision making functions are deliberately placed in charge of the “fifth brain.” The “fifth brain” is the part of the brain that consists of axons, dendrites, synapses, and glial cells that generate a magnetic field 5000 times stronger than any of the other four parts of the brain contained in our skull. Most of the time, vacillation between head and heart prevents people from achieving unconflicted action. By deliberately choosing to move executive functions to the fifth brain, you have better perspective in decision making by dissipating fear.
  21. 52 Listening SkillsDon’t be an emotional terrorist Emotional reactivity interferes with listening and even damages relationships. People who frequently communicate in this manner tend to justify their actions. Such way of dealing with reactivity only shows little understanding of the negative effects of this communication process.
  22. 52 Listening Skills Avoid “shoulding” on people There are times when you simply give out advice. As well-meaning as you may be, advice doesn’t work. Inside each person is a wisdom that is more reliable, insightful and trustworthy than any advice from someone else. Telling people what they should do when they do not solicit for advice will result to interference with internal wisdom, or worse you will seem to be judgmental or disrespectful. A skillful listener will continuously encourage others to look at themselves and to take
  23. 52 Listening SkillsEstablish support for speaking truth to power It is hard to talk to people who hold power over us. Skillful listeners know this and are willing to hear another’s truth no matter how distressing the truth may be. You must know that your power makes it hard for others to speak the truth, which is why you should be the one to initiate it. Refrain from ridiculing, blaming, shaming, or condemning.
  24. 52 Listening SkillsRegularly practice kenosis Listening is more than just taking in words-- it requires you to react in order to connect with one another. Kenosis meaning “to empty oneself” is a state for high level listening. A related meaning of kenosis is “revealer.” Listening allows the speaker to discover possibilities and see from a larger perspective. Another meaning of kenosis is “mediator.” Listeners often become mediators because they can help people see the exact nature of the problem.
  25. 52 Listening SkillsListen as practice of presence Presence is a result of listening to what lies at the heart of your work. Practicing presence is to live life in the here and now. It invites you to let go of your own convention and it allows you to maximize what it is to “be here now.”.
  26. 52 Listening SkillsAvoid letting your story take over their story When listening, you often have similar thoughts and experiences that make you want to tell your own stories. You must resist this impulse because it doesn’t work. When you tell your own story, you cut off the speaker and shift the focus away from him. When this happens, you change the mood of the conversation to something worse. By interrupting, you imply that what you have to say is more important, even if this is not what you want to project.
  27. 52 Listening SkillsCheck for meaning Meaning comes from inside you. Because of differences in knowledge, attitudes and experiences, you often misinterpret others’ message. One way to counter this misunderstanding is to repeat and paraphrase what you think you hear. Be prepared to be wrong because this practice takes time before you can get it right.
  28. 52 Listening SkillsBe genuinely curious Curiosity is something that can be learned and developed. Try remembering how it was as a child when everything was new and fascinating. If you see people with the same amazement, you become more curious about them and what they have to say. Curiosity creates sincere interest in the people you listen to.
  29. 52 Listening SkillsListen for underlying needs Skillful listeners try to look for underlying needs directly or indirectly expressed by speakers. To be able to identify such need, you can ask questions such as “why do you ask?” or “what do need exactly?” Listening helps identify common interests. Almost all communication is intended to express different needs. A skillful listener constantly tries to listen for those needs.
  30. 52 Listening SkillsIdentify defensiveness: practice non-defensiveness When under attack, you often become defensive either by becoming silent or violent. When we listen, we can more clearly recognize the root of the attack from the speaker. And it becomes easier to understand the underlying truths of the attack if we practice non-defensiveness.
  31. 52 Listening SkillsListen for differences In general, people don’t want to hear differences in opinion or way of thinking. Differences make people uncomfortable. Skillful listeners however will try to look for these differences because these differences interest them as it presents the individuality of each and every person. From this process of learning to listen for differences we begin to honor the special uniqueness of each person.
  32. 52 Listening SkillsListen between the words Listen to what is not being said as well as to what is. Research shows that only 10 percent or even less of the information is conveyed by words. The rest is taken from what is not said. Learning to listen to what is not being said is seen in the body language, facial expression, tone, context, etc. If there is something not being said, ask colleagues and acquaintances what they really want to say.
  33. 52 Listening SkillsChampion the timid The timid voice does not bring out the wisdom in each of us for many reasons. Some feel unsafe to speak while others may just not be clear with what they want to say. Championing the timid voice is creating a place where people can speak truth to power comfortably. People don’t usually know what they think unless asked for their opinion; which often turns out to be surprising to both speakers and listeners.
  34. 52 Listening SkillsAsk smart questions Smart questioning is an approach to solving problems through holistic listening and thinking.
  35. 52 Listening SkillsCultivate patience Skillful listeners are patient. They are willing to temporarily suspend what they have to say to give way to others who have something to say. They can control self expression and let others continue to express their point. With practice and the understanding of the benefits of patience, a person can learn to cultivate patience within..
  36. 52 Listening SkillsBe mindful of age, race and gender bias More often than not, we subconsciously filter what people are saying with gender bias, race and age. Skillful listeners are conscious of these biases and they correct any deficits in their listening accordingly. We listen better when we listen to the hearts and minds of people and not their age, race or gender bias. /
  37. 52 Listening SkillsBreak the “I” habit The word “I” creates problems by always shifting the topic to yourselves. Thus, creating a barrier in learning anything new from conversations. It hinders creative partnership, teamwork and finding new ways to fulfill other’s needs. The word “you “ will open up a new world in conversations that are limited by “I.”
  38. 52 Listening SkillsAsk specific, clarifying questions We often assume we understand what is being said to us, but more likely is that we do not understand these things in the way the speaker wanted to point out. First thoughts are like first drafts in writing, they require a god editor to clarify the intent of the text or, in this case, the words. As listeners, try asking questions to clarify these vague ideas and find ways to get the speaker to be specific.
  39. 52 Listening SkillsSay what’s useful; say what’s true The approach of a skilled listener is to be factual, true and beneficial to others. Being a skilled listener is also being able to understand what others are able to or ready to hear, in addition to being truthful.
  40. 52 Listening Skills.Inspire and encourage robust dialogue Robust dialogue often occurs in a culture of accountability. Robust mindedness that originates from open mindedness and no ulterior motives sets the atmosphere where ideas can be freely expressed.
  41. 52 Listening SkillsPractice strategic questioning Strategic questions are asked to reveal ambiguity and open up other options and solutions. Strategic questions invite growth and new possibilities. These questions assume human equality and are respectful to people and their individual capacity to grow in healthy ways. They intend to support human personal and professional transformation.
  42. 52 Listening SkillsThe ears can be ready when the heart’s just not Things that we can’t face have great power over us whether we are aware of it or not. These are the taboo topics that we often avoid for whatever reason. What it has to do with skillful listening is that we have to acknowledge its existence and acknowledge that it makes you feel uncomfortable. When other people raise it up for discussion, they are most likely not trying to cause you pain.
  43. 52 Listening SkillsContinually minimize distractions Eliminating or reducing distractions is a requirement to become a skillful listener. Distractions both internal and external must be dealt with to become a skillful listener. Examples of both internal and external distractions are phone calls, personal concerns, ambient noises, etc.
  44. 52 Listening SkillsPractice taking crap When someone is sending or projecting negative energy, do not face the negative energy head-on but instead stand up, move around, become a moving target for the bad energy but never lose control. It is important not to face someone’s negative energy with your own negative energy. This will prove to be an extremely worthwhile and beneficial practice.
  45. 52 Listening SkillsLearn to say “no” Saying no can be very difficult, but to say no is better that to simply say “yes” just because you are afraid to say “no.” When someone requests for you to listen, it is just fair to ask for time and think it over. It is only until such time when you can say “no” that people will believe that your “yes” means “yes” and your “no” means “no.”
  46. 52 Listening SkillsDon’t interrupt unnecessarily When we listen to others, there are things they say that activate us to speak up in some way. These impulses of ours must be controlled to become a skillful listener. When we interrupt a speaker, we send out the message that what you have to say is more important than what the speaker is saying. By learning how to control our tongue, we considerably improve our listening skills.
  47. 52 Listening SkillsGive up the need to be right Many conversations end up in head-to-head arguments on who is wrong and who is right. Skillful listeners recognize the benefits of not always having to prove themselves right. The insatiable need of always having to be right creates a fear of being wrong. Skillful listeners initiate, invite and help manage it for themselves and others as skillfully as possible.