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Sixteen Ways to lose out at listening

Doing all or even some of these thing damage your relationships with those around you, reduce your insight and understanding of what is going on with those people, making it harder for you to support or help them. Even doing just one or two every now and again has a negative impact.


Take a moment to review this list" which of these do you do?

  1. Approach important listening situations without the intention to focus? (like when you're about to get feedback)

  2. Forget to take steps to prevent interruptions or distractions

  3. Engage in other activities like reading email, using social media, or working on a file while you're listening

  4. Assume you know what others will say and tune out as a result

  5. Finish sentences for others when they stumble or pause

  6. Find that your biases or preconceived positions cause you to tune out

  7. Become impatient and tune others out when they say things that you don't agree with or don't want to hear

  8. Form a rebuttal in your mind while others are talking

  9. Ignore nonverbal cues such as voice tone posture and pace

  10. Act as if you understand what people are saying rather than risk embarrassment by asking them to repeat themselves or clarify a point

  11. Listen for specific facts rather than broad ideas

  12. Fidget when people speak too slowly or when their conversation is boring

  13. Dwell on aspects of others that have no bearing on conversations (example clothing or mannerisms)

  14. Daydream when others are talking

  15. Use the same response repeatedly (example "right", "uh-huh" etc.) in place of really listening

  16. Use body language that does not encourage communication



Know a bad listener? Forward this list to them!

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