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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about what makes a good listener and unpack why we have a hard time listening in our modern social media dominated world.
In this podcast you’ll find:
- Listening may be a dying art
- We are all smarter when we can exchange ideas
- Listening is how we take in nuances of people’s perspectives instead of dehumanizing them based on sound bytes
- We are programming ourselves not to listen to people and to make wild speculative assumptions about their intentions
- If we lose the ability to listen we lose the ability to cross-pollinate and be creative with each other
- The highest leverage thing we can do is be energetically in each other’s space and interacting
- Take the opportunity to conscientiously develop the skill of being with someone and idea generating in person.
- When you are with someone in person, you can’t help but humanize them
- It is easier to dehumanize people from a digital disconnect
- Possible reasons why we don’t listen:
- Insecurity: you don’t feel competent around a subject someone else is talking about
- Discomfort: People avoid truths that are uncomfortable and may require behavior change if they hear something they don’t want to hear.
- Overwhelm: we are inundated with so much these days it is hard to filter out all the details bombarding us. If you are constantly outputting, you can’t input
- Boredom: it is hard to listen when you are bored. Entertainment is constant in this modern world, so we have a lower threshold for what we consider boring.
- Two frameworks for listening:
- Responsive listening is when you have to listen to someone to get something accomplished or get the info you need.
- Active listening is much more directive. Much more engaged. It involves asking questions and taking control of the listening.
- Active listening: Harvard Business Review
- Someone who asks questions to promote discovery and insight
- Interactions that build self-esteem – the speaker feels supported
- Cooperative convo: a feedback mechanism that flows smoothly without defensiveness
- A great listener will also disagree and challenge assumptions to make both parties smarter
- Make suggestions: if you’ve already promoted discovery and insight, secured the perimeter and promoted a cooperative spirit then you can make suggestions they will trust more
- A good listener is okay with being uncomfortable on behalf of the speaker, even when the words promote cognitive dissonance
- Conversation requires leadership and the ability to follow.
- How to know when you are a lousy listener:
- You can’t wait until the person stops talking so you can have a turn
- You mistakenly assume other people’s observations are prescriptions.
- You don’t build compassion for the speaker: “If you fully understand another human being, the only thing you can feel for them is compassion.”
- If you don’t feel compassion for someone you weren’t listening
- The Judging function of Introverted Feeling (Fi) goes into flow when listening
- As soon as Fi comes to a conclusion its listening ability shuts down
- Extraverted Perceiving (EPs) functions may struggle to listen because they have to stay in one place
- Big 5 model of openness is more co-related to being a good listener than personality type.
- Listening is a skill that anybody can learn
- You may consider yourself a good listener but does the person you are with think you are a good listener?
- We tend to stop communicating with people who have given us the signal that they aren’t listening, like checking their phones or staring around the room.
- Pepper questions throughout the conversation without interrogating – 3 to 1 ratio: 1 question for every 3 statements
- If you’re asking endless questions and not offering anything in return, you are engaging in a one-sided convo
- To improve your ability to listen, watch what you do:
- Are you checking your phone a lot which undermines the confidence of your speaker?
- Are you waiting for your chance to talk and thinking about what you’re going to say while the other person is talking?
- Are you asking questions to promote discovery and insight or are you grilling them?
- Are you trying to solve their problem or are you building credibility with them by staying present?
- Are you securing the perimeter and putting away devices that could be distracting?
- Are you making eye contact when appropriate?
- Are you open to being uncomfortable?
- Cross-pollinating ideas is how all progress happens, and if we lose the ability to cross-pollinate and idea generate, we will find ourselves becoming regressive because we lose our compassion.
- The way of the future is compassion.
- If we lose the ability to listen we lose the ability to have compassion.
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