Thursday, October 07, 2010

Poor listening is a common problem in business today. The ability to listen well is a rare skill, and among the most valuable. Here are 10 bad listening habits and suggestions for overcoming them:
1. Considering the subject uninteresting.
Good listeners make an attempt to find something useful even in apparently the dullest subjects.
2. Criticizing the speaker's delivery.
The message is always more important than the delivery, and a good listener concentrates on content, not style.
3. Criticizing the speaker's appearance.
Even the most unprepossessing speaker warrants courteous attention. Sneering mentally could cost you a good deal; not only in lost information.
4. Getting over-stimulated.
Try not to get fired up, first-off. No matter how impressive-looking the speaker is initially, a good listener withholds final evaluation until the message is complete.
5. Listening only for facts.
Good listeners concentrate on trying to grasp the main idea.
6. Faking attention.
If you find your attention drifting, remember you owe it to yourself to really hear what other people have to say.
7. Easily distracted.
Instead, take pride in being able to filter out other noise or actions so that you concentrate on the speaker.
8. Blanking out difficult information.
If this is your problem, make a conscious effort to listen more closely and exult in how well you can grasp the topic.
9. Allowing emotional words to disrupt.
Don't allow your hearing be turned off by unwelcome or offensive words; the entire message is what's important.
10. Wasting the speed advantage of thought over speech. Because thought is four times faster than speech, poor listeners use it to take a mental holiday. Instead, good listeners use the gap to analyze what's being said.

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