Mistakes we make in conversations - Deepstash

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How to Master the Art of Listening

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.

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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 professional settings (counseling, training, therapy) but is also valuable for everyday life.

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;
Stephen R. Covey

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

Stephen R. Covey
The 5 Purposes Of Listening
  1. Listening makes people feel like they matter, which in turn makes them work harder.
  2. Arrogance talks. Humility listens. Practice humility by letting others speak.
  3. Listen to help others learn what they really think and find clarity.
  4. Listen to understand what needs to be acted upon.
  5. Curiosity. Listen to ask a question.
4 Reasons You Hate To Listen
  1. An attention span compromised by excess of stimulation.
  2. Nagging issues take over your mental space leaving little space for listening.
  3. Lack of empathy makes you ignore how other people feel when they are not heard.
  4. Conversational dominance and impatience.
Zeno of Citium

“We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.”

Zeno of Citium
Good listening

Good listening doesn't follow a technique as much as being willing to enter into another person's life.

Listening through the screen of your own desires means that you are listening to your own voice and desires. It is the same as not listening at all. Listening demands wiping the slate of your mind clean.

Not knowing what to say

Not knowing what to say when someone confides in you is a daunting feeling. However, we feel that way because we mistakenly think the person reaching out is asking for an explanation.

It is more important just to be there, so the other person doesn't feel alone.