10 elements to becoming a better listener

June 30, 2016

Really listening to someone means staying present with them in conversation.  But, it’s human nature to stray from conversation.  We all do it.  Sometimes, we anticipate what they will say before they say it.

Sometimes, we think about our response before they finish talking.  Or, sometimes our mind drifts to other places.  So, being aware of these blocks to listening helps us with our communication skills.

One of the best communication skills that we can do is listening to another person when we are in contact with them, and they are telling us something. The 10 blocks to listening are, number one, mind reading. Be aware that it’s happening, so that we really listen to somebody and stay present.

The second block to listening is rehearsing. Already preparing in your mind what you’re going to say to the other person in response while they’re still talking to us. Another one is filtering. Only picking out certain parts of what someone is saying, especially the parts where we’re going to make sure that they’re wrong.

Another block to listening is judging. Evaluating what a person’s saying while they’re saying it. Daydreaming is something that a lot of us do. We’re off thinking about something else in some fantasy land, while someone is taking to us. Another block to listening is advising. Without being asked for advice, we’re giving it and offering a solution, when someone is just telling us something.

Two ladies having a conversation

Another one that’s really harsh is sparring. Really playing the devil’s advocate and getting in there and causing friction, or a fight, or a contrast to what they’re saying.

Something that goes along with this that blocks the listening is being right. Making sure that your argument or your position is right, and there’s is wrong. That definitely breaks communication and breaks the relationship immediately.

Another one is derailing. Going off a subject. Moving away from what is actually being talked about at that time.

The last one is placating somebody. Just going ahead and accepting what they’re saying, just to agree with them just to be liked, or to go ahead and have the conversation done. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’re right,” but you’re not really listening to them.

Those are 10 blocks to listening. When you don’t use them, I think you’ll find that listening is going to be a lot easier. Be aware if you have them come into your listening, and really block the blocks. Stay present, enjoy listening to someone, and you’ll find your communication is going to be a lot better. Enjoy.

Be aware if you have them come into your listening, and really block the blocks. Stay present, enjoy listening to someone, and you’ll find your communication is going to be a lot better.

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