Putting together all the skills of becoming an excellent listener will solidify your spot as an effective communicator. After watching this video you will have an idea of what all the previous skills put together look like.
- Now watch Brenda and I demonstrate a situation of a frustrated speaker and a stellar listener in action. I play the role of department head and I just came out of a staff meeting that was not very productive. My acting may be a little bit over the top, but watch her reactions and actions. She puts all the listening behaviors to play masterfully. So that was a colossal waste of two hours in the meeting. And do you want to know what happened? - Yes. - Ask me what the vote was. - Okay, what was the vote? - Five for the decision, and 15 against the decision. - (gasps) You're kidding. - I don't know what we're going to do. I don't know what's going to happen. - Okay wait a minute, do you think we're going to need to act on this later? Or should I just sort of take all of this in. - Act? We'll probably go jump off a cliff cause now we have to start - Come on. - Yes, we have to start from scratch! - All right, tell me more. I'm going to listen. - Okay, okay. So, you knew that we had prepared them, they had all the information and they told us that they were for this vote. So now 15 of them vote against it. We have to start from scratch. I don't know. - What do you think happened? - Bad communication, I don't know. I mean how could they have not have known about this? And how could they be so influenced against it? So what do we tell the staff? We have to start the entire strategic process from the beginning. That's what I know. - (sighs) Oh my godness. So you're freaked out that the vote went so differently than you expected it to and mainly you're worried about how to move forward. - Yeah, I was blindsided and now I feel like I'm paralyzed. How are we going to move forward? And how will we communicate this to the staff? I mean what are we supposed to do? - Yeah. So the communication to them is going to be- - Out of, I don't know, I don't know. Two hours in there just back and forth back and forth. - Ugh, what a waste of your time. - I know, I don't know what to do. - I don't either. - The effective listening behaviors we listed may seem easy to talk about but hard to do. We challenge you to assess yourself and your colleagues. How many people do you encounter that paraphrase appropriately? Who does the best job matching emotion when you share something with them? Identifying the behaviors is the first step to becoming a great listener. What we would like for you to do next is to practice, practice, practice. At weddings, kids events, family get-togethers, staff meetings, boring speeches, everywhere. See if you can ask open-ended questions that get others to start talking. Then, listen attentively while your words and actions say, "I am here with you 100%."
- Define attentive listening.
- Explore what happened when you are distracted by delivery.
- Recall what a mental filter is and how it can affect assumptions.
- Explore methods for choosing the best paraphrasing response in the situation.
- List the five listening intentions.