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Attentive Listening

I just read about "attentive listening" and it makes sense. Have I been under a rock or does everyone already know this? - by Newbie
I just read about "attentive listening" and it makes sense. Have I been under a rock or does everyone already know this?
The information is nothing new however you might be suprised at how many people have yet to learn the material. ;) - by Gilbert
This is a "Core" communication skill. If you're not familiar with the material it's in your best interest to do so. - by Jolly Roger
The concept is simple however it's not as easy as it sounds. You really have to "tune-in" which can be quite difficult when you have a ton of things going on or running through your head. - by SpeedRacer
When you're with the client/prospect then you should be "with" the client/prospect both physically and mentally. - by Jackie
The concept is simple however it's not as easy as it sounds. You really have to "tune-in" which can be quite difficult when you have a ton of things going on or running through your head.
Over the weekend I worked on this and failed miserably. My thoughts wandered more than I would like to admit. :( - by Newbie
My thoughts wandered more than I would like to admit.
That's the difficult part. It's harder than it sounds isn't it? - by WobblyBox
You must listen with ears that hear grasshopper. :D - by MagicMan
One trick I've used for attentive listening is to ask appropriate questions during the conversation. The key is to not ask questions that will send the other person off on a tangent... but asking appropriate questions forces the brain to focus on what the other person is saying. Also, if the brain thinks of something to ask, sometimes one becomes distracted from what the other person is saying because he or she is thinking about the question he or she is waiting to ask.... so try not to wait.

Interestingly, I saw something 20/20 some years ago about how women's brains are more capable of actively listening to more than one thing (or remembering a question without losing what the other person is saying) than men. - by Coda1108
Interestingly, I saw something 20/20 some years ago about how women's brains are more capable of actively listening to more than one thing (or remembering a question without losing what the other person is saying) than men.[/quote]

I think this falls under the category of 'multitasking'. Something my friends with kids tell me women excel at.

Susan - by susana
I've spent the past ten+ years [some time earlier in my life as a teacher] in disciplined study of how to listen - what listening really is - and keeping it clear. Today I'm very good at it - a few books helped but I won't post any names here.

Multi-tasking is contrary to clear and intent listening.

MitchM - by MitchM
How can you pay attention to what is not being said if you're multitasking? - by Marcus
Susana- my reply is fact - neither what's being said nor not being said can be clear when one is multi-tasking.

Often the notion of multi-tasking is in reality doing many things one at a time but overlapping and occasionally doing two at the same time more or less.

There are also many urban myths about multi-tasking including one gender's brain being able to listen to more than one thing.

MitchM - by MitchM
I've spent the past ten+ years [some time earlier in my life as a teacher] in disciplined study of how to listen - what listening really is - and keeping it clear.
Do you have any good advice on how to listen? - by Marcus
How to listen is a study I really only began taking seriously in the past ten years and not with complete dedication most of the time. So I'm still in this study and it requires the discipline of practice.

Practice includes catching one's self - for example - listening to one's thoughts rather than the noises around -birds, air cooling systems, horns honking, people talking. Not that listening to one's thoughts doesn't have a purpose and value. BUT catching one not paying attention to external sounds and then learning to tune out the mental sounds and listen is one study that requires extreme focus and concentration in the beginning. Typically within thirty seconds the mind begins to sound again and thoughts block out external sounds.

That practice is important because it can be taken into conversation when the other person is talking and we learn to listen to that rather than our internal rambling dialogues.

That's one way to begin to learn and it requires constant effort to master nomind, no internal sound - I haven't mastered it yet for long periods of time.

MitchM - by MitchM
Practice includes catching one's self - for example - listening to one's thoughts rather than the noises around -birds, air cooling systems, horns honking, people talking. Not that listening to one's thoughts doesn't have a purpose and value. BUT catching one not paying attention to external sounds and then learning to tune out the mental sounds and listen is one study that requires extreme focus and concentration in the beginning. Typically within thirty seconds the mind begins to sound again and thoughts block out external sounds.
I really need to work on that. Are there any training exercises or something for this? - by Marcus
There maybe, Marcus. My experience comes from lots of reading all kinds of things, lots of personal considerations of what's important to improve myself, and a study of many Asian martial art's [as a home amateur] forms and thinking forms.

For most of my life I've considered turning off the mind for clarity and for listening - BUT my discipline has been off and on through out the years.

I'd suggest just doing as I posted - begin to cultivate an appreciation for external sound and catch yourself going back into the internal - the mind's sounds - then go back outside again.

Do that in conversations, at work and home, in traffic, walking - it's a very simple exercise but also very challenging to keep thoughts from forming.

What you find in conversations including sales is that you don't need to be prepared to dialogue with approaches or closing techniques or pat answers - what happens is that you actually begin to hear subtle and obvious messages and ask for clarification of them - you engage in a real conversation.

MitchM - by MitchM
I'd suggest just doing as I posted - begin to cultivate an appreciation for external sound and catch yourself going back into the internal - the mind's sounds - then go back outside again.
I will do that today. Thank you. ;sm - by Marcus
I'd suggest just doing as I posted - begin to cultivate an appreciation for external sound and catch yourself going back into the internal - the mind's sounds - then go back outside again.
That is an excellent exercise MitchM. ;wi - by Agent Smith
It is AS, and it's frustrating when you realize that you're back into thinking rather than listening to external sounds - last winter I held that total mental blankness listening to sounds while walking one morning for what seemed like fifteen minutes - that's an eternal amount of time without thinking a thought.

There are other exercises - the chanting OM pronounced AHM and deep and from the mid section besides a breathing exercise stills thought.

My discipline is imperfect but daily - in conversations I find impulses take over and that's another part of stilling the internal.

MitchM - by MitchM
We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much than we speak.;sm :thu - by job ready strategist
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