12.5 Rules to observe to maximize your listening skills…
- Don’t interrupt. (But…but…but)
- Ask questions. Then be quiet. Concentrate on listening to understand.
- Prejudice will distort what you hear. Listen without prejudging.
- Don’t jump to the answer before you hear the ENTIRE situation.
- Listen for purpose, details, and conclusions.
- Active listening involves interpreting.
- Listen to what is not said. Implied is often more important than spoken.
- Think between sentences.
- Digest what is said (and not said) before engaging your mouth.
- Demonstrate you are listening by taking action.
- Ask questions to be sure you understood what was said or meant.
- Ask questions to be sure the speaker said all he/she wanted to say.
12.5 When you stop listening because you’re SURE you know the answer BEFORE the other person is finished talking…your answer is usually wrong.
A Few Listening Skill Building Ideas – Shhh…
- Look right at the person you’re listening to.
- Focus your attention on the words and their meaning.
- Limit distractions (even change locations to listen better).
- Visualize the situation in your mind’s eye.
- Visualize your response or solution before responding.
- Listen with an open mind.
- Listen to the content – not necessarily how it’s being delivered.
- Use occasional listening noises… wow, gosh, then what, really, that’s horrible, great, that’s too bad, I didn’t know that, I see, gee.
- Write things down as others are speaking.
- Verify the situation (sometimes) before giving feedback.
- Qualify the situation with questions before giving feedback or responding.
- Don’t interrupt the next time you think you know the answer.
- Go for an hour without speaking.
- Next time you eat with a group, don’t talk for the first half hour.
- Ask questions to clarify — to show interest or concern — to learn.