“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”
“I make progress by having people around me who are smarter than I am and listening to them. And I assume that everyone is smarter about something than I am.”
“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.”
I suspect that most people are not 100% listeners. A “100% listener” does NOT do the following:
- Mentally prepare what he will say next while the other person is still talking
- Mentally comment or judge what a person is saying
- Recall past experiences, good or bad, about the person talking
- Automatically defend himself when criticized instead of trying to better understand the reasons and background behind the criticism
- Retrieve his past emotions, good or bad, he had on the person talking now
- Fail to listen completely because of an expectation about what the speaker will say
- Lecture on what he knows about a topic even if the other person is not interested or is not asking about it
- Notice or get irritated at the bad grammar, bad logic or bad attitude of the person talking
- Interrupt by saying something when the other person is not yet finished talking
- Enter a conversation with the belief that there is little he can learn from the other person
- Talk very long or give long lectures or monopolize the conversation and as a result the other person has less time to talk
- Think about something else related, or unrelated, to what the person is saying now
- Mentally dismiss whatever the person is saying because of his belief about the low credibility or trustworthiness of the person talking
- Focus more on the emotion of the person talking than on what he is saying
- Answer a question but say so many other extra things unrelated to the question
- Do something else such as read something while the person is still talking
- Get distracted by noise or any other external stimulus
- Etc. etc.
Do you do some of the above?
Do you agree that most of the blocks to 100% listening come from inside ourselves? Our minds are superb instruments, but their incessant internal noise are equally superb blocks to 100% listening.
Imagine the wider opportunities for our own personal learning if we practice AVOIDING the above blocks to listening! Imagine the better quality of our daily conversations when we all practice 100% listening!
My thanks to Wikimedia Commons for the image files.