Becoming a Professional Listener
1. Know your Barriers
The first key to becoming a professional listener is to know your own, personal listening barriers. A listening barrier is anything that stands in your way from fully attending to another person. These include internal distractions such as thinking about other things, external distractions such as noise or cell phones, and the other individual.
What are your primary listening barriers? The only way to know the answer is to pay attention while you are listening.
At the end of this key you will find a link to an online form that asks you to assess your own personal listening barriers. To properly complete the form, think back over the last 48-72 hours. About all of your conversations. Honestly reflect on your listening - was it ideal? Or did you struggle with any of the listed barriers?
Once you check the barriers with which you struggle, ask yourself:
- When do I see this barrier operating?
- What was I doing prior to the barrier manifesting?
- What, if anything, did I do to try and control this barrier?
- How can I overcome this barrier?
- If I cannot overcome it, how can I learn to live with this barrier?
Once you have a completed form, spend today thinking about your barriers and how you can overcome or live with them. Talk to friends, family, or co-workers about them – find others that struggle with these barriers and discuss strategies to improve!
Copyright Bodie Consulting, LLC, 2016