Friday, June 20, 2008

Learning Styles and the Art of Listening

· Understanding
· Affirmation
· Validation
· Appreciation
· Job well done
are only some of the benefits of listening effectively.

In addition, listening - when done right - creates an atmosphere of love, trust and respect.

Although the traditional image of a good listener is somebody who looks at you and sits still except for nodding encouragingly, it is not an image of somebody who is necessarily taking in information.

Everybody has their own unique listening style. You yourself may listen best while playing with your pen, or staring at the floor, or bustling around the room, or even lying back in the chair with your eyes closed (try to explain that one to your boss without a printout of your Working Style Analysis report). You may prefer to know the conclusion before you want to hear the details of the process. Even the amount of light in the room may affect the success of your listening endeavours.

(Does your listening style have a preference for fiddling or pacing? Click here to find out.)

When listening, it’s often best to utilise as many senses as possible: use the ears to hear the message, the eyes to read body language, imagination to visualise the message, intuition to determine what the speaker is actually saying and the mouth to repeat it all back to make sure you’ve understood correctly.

Happy listening!

To analyse your communications style, have a look here.

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