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Improve Your Listening Skills

listen to ME!

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Are there important people in your life, who say “you don’t listen to me,” or “it seems as if everything I tell you goes in one ear and out the other?” Do you have difficulty remembering people’s names, what they say, and the tone of their voice?  Do you get agitated with long discussions and lots of questions without some physical action and visual material to look at? If so, you are not alone. Do you know that 78% of the population has Auditory as their least preferred sensory pathway to take in information? And, do you know that only 7% of the population has Auditory as their primary preferred way to receive information? These are the people most likely to tell you that you are not listening, unless you are an auditory learner as well.

Is it any wonder why there are so many misunderstandings, false assumptions, erroneous conclusions, wasted hours in meetings, conflicts and costly mistakes, when the world uses Auditory as the primary communication pathway to solve problems, make decisions, give instructions and exchange information? If you want to improve your relationship with the Auditory people in your life or just be a better listener overall, here are some simple and powerful neuroscience methods that work quickly.

A universal method is paraphrasing what you think people said to let them know you are listening and to confirm that you heard it correctly. This one simple step will save a lot of time, eliminate frustration and build good will. Here are some powerful techniques for different environments.

Phone Conversations, Telemarketing, Webinars and Lectures

  • Close your eyes to remove visual distractions so you can listen deeply.
  • For phone calls, place the receiver to your right ear, which is a more direct connection to the “left brain” language-processing center. If you are left-handed, you may have to reverse the procedure.
  • Do something physical while you are listening, like tapping yourself on the leg, squeezing a small ball or pacing about in a confined and safe space. These kinesthetic activities help you lock in and remember what you heard.
  • Experiment taking notes using key words and doodles. Try retracing your doodles. You may discover an internal “playback” of what was said.

Meetings, One-on-One, Training and Sales Calls

  • Maintain a gentle focused gaze on the speaker, occasionally looking at a neutral point in the room and/or visual material to avoid the impression of staring.
  • Alternatively, take notes using key words and symbols as you are looking at the speaker.
  • Focus on the speaker’s words, their meaning and the tone of voice used.
  • Imagine yourself as a police scanner radio, oscillating back and forth between the Auditory and Visual channels. Try to remain as physically still as possible, avoiding kinesthetic distractions.

Author Message:
You may not be aware that our organization is a trusted and respected source of reliable practical neuroscience solutions for personal and organizational development.  We have been creating and delivering brain-based human development solutions, since 1992. The message that follows directs you to a quick, easy, and low cost solution you may be searching for.

Do you want to be a better listener? Are you experiencing strained and difficult communications with a family member, co-worker or friend? Feeling misunderstood and unappreciated are tell-tale signs of a deteriorating relationship. Your difficulties may be due to big gaps in the ways you both communicate, and poor listening skills for one or both parties. Your Brain PathWays report gives you what you need to know and do to get on other peoples “wavelength.” You can repair, rebuild and improve important relationships now with powerful practical neuroscience communication tools for exceptional rapport. Click to purchase your Brain PathWays online self-assessment and download your report today.

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3 comments on “Improve Your Listening Skills

  1. 2zpoint
    September 23, 2010

    As a person with hearing loss (in my left ear), I can vouch for auditory information being my least favorite way of taking in information. I believe that my reason lies in the ability to hear what is said correctly. Could this be the reason many people prefer other methods as well? When I think of relying on what I heard, there is no tangible or physical affirmation to describe what I’ve heard and there is no way of conveying something heard without trusting that I heard it correctly.
    Many people make an assumption based on what they hear, what they believe, and want they want to hear (biases). If I feel something I take part in it.If I see something it causes me to notice details. If I smell something I can give a comparable description that people I know can relate to, but I can not trust that my brain will not alter what I hear based on my mood, feeling toward the communicator, or another stimuli. Hearing to me seems to be the most manipulative of all the senses that is why I trust it less than other senses when it comes to learning.
    I will however try your suggestions when it comes to other people. Sometimes I seem insensitive or uncaring to people that do not know me. I’ll let you know how it goes in a few weeks. Thank you, I have enjoyed your post.

    • brainpathways
      September 23, 2010

      Thank you sharing your personal experiences and thoughts about hearing. As you point out, hearing and listening may be two different things. I am looking forward to learning how the techniqes work for you.


  2. Pingback: How Do You Know It’s the Right Job? | Brain PathWays Blog

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