The Right Questions - Deepstash

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It's time to tune in: why listening is the real key to communication

The Right Questions

Asking the right questions, the ones about the speaker's interests, and not intrusive or self-promoting, is the key to having a good conversation.

Having a fulfilling conversation bridges differences and makes you find common ground with people with a different and conflicting political stance or ideological position.

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Active listening

Is a technique for developing our ability to listen, to make a conscious effort to understand what people are really saying.

As a communication technique, it is used in many prof...

Core components of Active Listening
  • Comprehending: To communicate, we must first understand what the other person (or people) are actually saying.
  • Retaining: To respond in an appropriate manner, we must understand and retain what the other person has said.
  • Responding: An active response should show that we understand what the other person has said, have paid attention to their words and also read their non-verbal cues.
Improving Active Listening skills
  • Educate yourself on common cognitive biases and shortcuts;
  • Avoid trying to respond immediately. Allow the other person time to finish speaking, then provide a considered response;
  • Minimize conversational narcissism by keeping track of your use of pronouns(I, me);
  • Seek to develop a clear picture of the other person’s logic;
Listening requires mental work
We mistake listening as easy because it looks passive and instinctive, but in reality it’s hard work. Really listening (and not just appearing to listen) re...
Mistakes we make in conversations
Our general tendency is to:
  • Evaluate: We judge what someone is saying and agree or disagree.
  • Probe: We ask questions from our own frame of reference.
  • Advise: We give counsel, advice, and solutions to problems.
  • Interpret: We analyze others' motives and behaviors based on our own experiences.
What makes a great listener
  • Asking great questions;
  • Playing attention to the nonverbal communication;
  • Forgoing taking detailed notes to pay better attention;
  • Listening with the intent to understand, not the intent to respond;
  • Making people feel heard;
  • Following up on what matters.
Open Your Ears

Don’t jump to advanced listening techniques if you have poor listening skills as you’re very likely to get overwhelmed.

Start by just opening your ears, closing your mouth and looking the ...

What Someone Closed to Listening Thinks
  • How does this impact me?
  • When have I experienced this?
  • What would I do about this?
  • Where can I take this conversation?
  • What do I need to tell?
5 Roadblocks To Listening
  1. Disinterest in connecting.
  2. Long-talkers and explainers who never get to the point!
  3. Knowledge. Talkers know.
  4. Distraction by what’s next.
  5. Multi-tasking.