Here are four easy lessons to improve your listening abilities.

  • Lesson 1 – The two biggest impediments to listening are:
    • You often have an opinion before you begin listening.
    • You have often made up your mind before you begin listening.
  • Lesson 2 – The two most important rules of listening:
    • First, listen with the intent to understand.
    • Second, listen with the intent to respond.
  • Lesson 3 – Think about the way you listen right now:
    • Are you doing something else when someone is speaking?
    • Do you have your mind on something else when someone else someone is speaking?
    • Do you fake listening so that you can get in your comments?
    • Are you waiting for a pause to get in your response, because you already know the answer?
  • Lesson 4 – At some point you stop listening. When does this occur?
    • After you have formulated your response.
    • After you have been turned off by the speaker.
    • When you decide to interrupt someone to say something.
    • When the person speaking isnt saying anything you want to hear.
Some useful guidelines:
  • Don’t interrupt
  • Ask questions – then be quiet
  • Use eye contact
  • Listen without judging
  • Be a sponge – absorb!
  • Have someone else take notes while you ask the questions