Tip of the Week
Insurance Against Mediocrity
Powerful Listening - What gets in the way
it: Obstacles that make it hard to
hear someone. Noise from your mind, body, and physical
it’s Important: When distracted, you can't connect to other people, let alone to your
own thoughts. Think of your brain like your refrigerator, both need a certain amount of space/distance from other
things (distractions) for optimal focus, connection, and engagement.
Overly scheduled lives and feeling powerless to do something about it prevent many people from
clearing enough space for focus and connection. It's next to impossible for you to engage with your children,
customers, or romantic partners unless you have a clear mind.
4 things that get in the way:
Un-met needs The need to look smart,
be right, be liked, etc. distract focus from the speaker because you're thinking about
Bias or beliefs Conservative
nature, outgoing, shy, fearful, etc. effect how you process what you
Noisy environment Barking
dogs, busy roadway, TV or your mind chatter--what to say next or watching the clock, etc. cause
you to miss much of what's said.
Agenda Knowing the answer
before the speaker has fully spoken redirects focus on rebuttals/advice vs. compassion and
Experiment with the easiest person or the easiest topic. Prepare
in advance by deciding which of the four obstacles above you will consciously avoid. If you have a favorite
technique for grounding yourself or clearing your mind, great. Perhaps you'll choose a distraction-free
environment, great, too. Now, strike up a conversation. The point is to pick something easy and
intentionally approach the experiment. Remember to obey the small step rule.
4 ways to know when you're doing it
The other person mirrors your engagement
You feel surprised by what the other person says
Your shares are relevant and focused
Your biases and opinions didn't distract the conversation
The Benefit: As with last week's
tip, What to Listen For, the benefits are that you connect to the speaker as a whole person
and learn about her (and yourself) in the process. Influence is only possible with connected
4 things you'll demonstrate:
Value in your relationships that
transcend your world or your "stuff"
- Wisdom because you're willing to listen and learn vs. already knowing
Importance in the thoughts and feelings of the speaker --
Hey, if you'll take the time to clear the decks, it must be important, right?
Opportunity for you to get out of your own way to connect with people
Feathers Value is in Real Time, An End to Rough-Housing,
Related Tip: Powerful Listening - What to Listen For