mindful listening

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Mindful Listening. By Donna Brown. What is mindfulness?. A way of focusing your attention that can produce significant benefits Opposite of multi-tasking. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Mindful Listening

Mindful ListeningBy Donna Brown

What is mindfulness?A way of focusing your attention that can produce significant benefitsOpposite of multi-tasking

Rebecca Shafir writes our environment with its constant bombardment of stimuli challenges your innate ability to relax and focus on one task at a time.Why do we listen?We listen to obtain informationWe listen to understandWe listen for enjoymentWe listen to learn

Listen Effectively from Hitch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQzduf9GH8MWe remember 25% to 50% of what we hear.That means when you talk to your boss, colleagues, customers, or spouse for 10 minutes, they pay attention to half of the conversation.Good communication skills require a high level of self-awareness

By understanding your personal style of communicating, you will go along way towards creating good and lasting impressions of othersThe average person speaks at 125 words per minute, yet we can process up to 500 words per minuteHow to be a good ListenerWhat is active listening?The process of listening, clarifying, giving feedback, and self-disclosing.It involves the participation of both parties in verbal and non-verbal ways.The use of I statements is imperative.

Make eye contactLook the speaker in the face most of the time, especially look at his/her eyesIf you forget to make eye contact, speaker may think you are bored, withdrawn, or simply not listeningBe culturally sensitive: some individuals may be uncomfortable with too much direct eye contact

Take a listening positionSit or stand in a comfortable positionAim your body in the general direction of the speakerTry to be relaxedBe aware of other non-verbals: placement of arms, leaning forward when necessary, head nodding, degree of personal space, smiling

Effective Listening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTr7mRs1ixg

Paraphrase the speakers messageState in your own words what someone has just saidSome common ways to lead into paraphrases are:What I hear you saying is.In other words.So basically how you felt wasWhat happened wasSounds like youre feeling

The speaker has the chance to make the message more clear if he/she doesnt think you really understood

Ask clarifying questionsIf something the speaker said is unclear, ask him/her a question to get more informationAsking questions make you an active, interested listenerThe speaker can tell you have been listening enough to have a question and care enough to askAsk open ended questions:Could you give me an example

Make comments, ask questionsWhen the speaker stops or pauses, make comments about the same subjectIf you change the topic suddenly, she/he may think you werent listeningIf the speaker asks a question, your answer can show you were listeningUse silence to your benefit versus attempting to fill the conversation with constant talk

Provide appropriate feedbackFeedback should always be given in an honest and supportive wayEmpathy: identify with the speakers feelings. It can be difficult if you have different life experiences or would try a different solutionOpenness: be a supportive, but neutral listener. Be careful of judgments.Awareness: be aware of your own biases. We all have them, its human nature

Eight Barriers to Effective listening1. Knowing the answerYou think you already know what the speaker wants to say, before she actually finishes saying it. You might then impatiently cut her off or try to complete the sentence for her.Even more disruptive is interrupting her by saying that you disagree with her, but without letting her finish saying what it is that you think you disagree with. By interrupting the speaker before letting her finish, you're essentially saying that you don't value what she's saying. Showing respect to the speaker is a crucial element of good listening.The "knowing the answer" barrier also causes the listener to pre-judge what the speaker is saying -- a kind of closed-mindedness.A good listener tries to keep an open, receptive mind. He looks for opportunities to stretch his mind when listening, and to acquire new ideas or insights, rather than reinforcing existing points of view.Overcoming this barrierWait for three seconds after the speaker finishes before beginning your reply.Three seconds is a good thing, because it gives the speaker a chance to fully vent his or her feelings.Another strategy is to schedule a structured session during which only one person speaks while the other listens. You then switch roles in the next session.2. Trying to be helpfulThe listener is thinking about how to solve what he perceives to be the listeners problemHe misses what the speaker is actually saying

Overcoming the barrierSchedule a separate session for giving advicePolitely ask if you may offer a possible solutionWait for the speaker to clearly invite you to go ahead before giving advice

3. Treating discussion as a competitionAgreeing with the speaker during a debate is a sign of weaknessFeel compelled to challenge every point

Overcoming this barrierDebating should be scheduled for a separate sessionAvoid dismissing the speakers statementsInstead affirm the points of agreement

4. Trying to influence or impressA person with an agenda will not simply listenPeople can understand language 2-3 times faster than they can speakTherefore the listener has time to think about other things while listeningThe listener will use this time to plan their next moveOvercoming this barrierMake note of your internal motives while listeningYoull eventually become conscious of your ulterior motivesThey may unravel allowing you to let go and just listen5. Reacting to red flagsWords can provoke a reaction in the listenerRed flag words trigger an unexpectedly strong reaction in the listeners mindThe speaker may not have meant the word in the way the listener understood

Overcoming this barrierAsk the speaker to confirm whether she meant to say what you think she saidTry to stop the conversation, if possible, so you dont miss anything else the speaker has to say

6. Believing in languageA misplaced trust in the precision of wordsLanguage is a guessing gameMeaning must always be actively negotiatedWords have unique effect in the mind of each personWords work by pointing at experiences shared by speaker and listenerOvercoming this barrierPractice mistrusting the meaning of wordsAsk the speaker supporting questions to cross-verify what the words mean to himDont assume the words mean exactly the same to you as they do the listenerYou can stop the speaker and question the meaning of the word

7. Mixing up the forest and the treesPeople pay too close attention to detailThey miss the overall meaningtrees people-name characteristics in no particular orderforest people-sweeping, abstract, birds eye viewGood explanations usually provide both: the big picture and specific viewOvercoming this barrierExplicitly ask the speaker for the overall context or specific details as neededCross-verify by asking how the trees fit together with the forestAn accurate picture of how details fit together is crucial in understanding the speakers thoughtsAsk open ended questions8. over-splitting or over-lumpingSplitters-how things are differentLumpers-how things are alikeDifferent mental styles can cause confusionA listener who is an over-splitter can inadvertently signal that he disagrees with everythingThat can cause noise and interfere with the flow of conversationAchieve a good balance is importantOvercoming this barrierAsk questions to determine more precisely where you agree and disagreeBy voicing points of convergence and divergence the listener can create a more accurate mental model of the speakers mindConclusionIt takes a lot of concentration to be an active listenerBe deliberate with your listeningYour goal is truly hear what the other person is sayingConcentrate on the message; do not let your mind wanderAsk questions, reflect, and paraphrase

Is anybody listening? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poAUNIQsTJI