Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Do You Listen or Do You Hear?

NLP, Coaching, HypnotherapyDo You Listen or Do You Hear?

by: Alistair Horscroft

Lets start this article with a a simple question: “When approached by a colleague, family member or staff member with a problem are you a talker, interrogator or a listener?

With a bit of self awareness it’s not hard to see which one we are: Talkers do just that, they just talk…. and talk……..and talk. Talkers put up with others speaking just long enough for them to be able to unload what it is they want to say, normally their opinion on to the other person.

Talkers wait for a pause in the conversation so they can say something. Talkers often fake listening just so that they can say something. Talkers speak at people, they do not connect. Obviously talkers are a joy to be around (joke) Talkers most likely have very noisy internal dialogue/self talk. They often either have a misplaced sense of their own importance/sense of rightness or a deep lack of self worth that is overcompensated for by all the talk. They are most often uncomfortable with silence.

Interrogators don’t stop asking questions, it’s like being with the Spanish inquisition. They want to know everything, every detail, they want to make sure that all the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted as they find out more. Interrogators don’t really want to listen, instead they want to gather information for there own self interest. Interrogators often live in a world of hyper comparison, they want to make sure that no one has anything over them. Interrogators often have significant insecurities and believe that by finding out all about you they can assess you correctly, label you and put you in a convenient box (that suits their map of the world). Many people learn that asking questions is a great communication skill, which is true – however there is a very big difference between asking questions out of genuine interest and asking them to satisfy once own psychological complexities and personal insecurities !

Listeners genuinely listen, they want, out of no ulterior motive, to fully understand the other persons needs. Listeners have a well developed sense of self, they respect others opinions, experiences and ideas without judgement. Listeners are able to create a safe environment where others are able to open up and truly be themselves. Listeners have no desire for fake relationships or communication and therefore want others to be themselves as any other form of communication becomes boring and meaningless to them. The Listener is able to create deep trust with others quickly as well as motivate others to talk and share information. Listeners are comfortable with silence and have no need to talk for the sake of it. Listeners truly hear. To create the space where someone actually feels heard is one of the great gifts that you can give to another – it is a rare thing, but a skill worth mastering. To learn to hear is to have mastered one of the most important skills we can for in doing so we provide our self with proof that we have worked through many of our own personal insecurities and issues. We become more selfless.

Listen to people the way you want to be listened to, and you too will start to feel heard.

8 Barriers To Masterful Listening

1. Doing something else while the person is talking

2. Waiting (barely) for a pause before jumping in

3. The need to say something. The inability to remain quiet

4. Fake listening, something you have to do so that you can talk

5. Selective listening

6. Listening only to words rather that the complete person (unconscious signals such as body language and tonality)

7. Easily distracted, can you remain focuses through distractions?

8. Can you be free from judgement – can you dissolve your own world view and personal opinions to remain present?

Article provided by Alistair Horscroft, Director The Mind Institute


NLP, Hypnosis, Coaching

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