Posts Tagged ‘Listening’

I just gave someone a listening to.

September 12, 2013

Listening-Dog-BlueI am a mere mortal. I know this because I have to take my car for its annual MOT. (That’s a legally required road safety check here in the UK for more mature vehicles. More important people have somebody do this for them. Or have new cars.)

The thing is, it took me a while to get it sorted out because I ended up giving the lady at the garage a damn good listening to.

In brief: Her husband is fifty years young next year so they are going to New Zealand where they have friends. They are going to rent a motorcycle. He already has a Honda Fireblade and she sometimes falls asleep when she is pillion. Their kids – which they had young – are at university and the boyfriends have basically moved in. The kids each have a Vauxhall car. They have almost paid off the mortgage and thanks to a canny endowment purchase.

This happens to me a lot. I meet random folk and they download.

My family roll their eyes when we are out and about as I am forever engaging in dialogue. Admittedly I am partially to blame as I choose to engage, but there is evidence of a kind of conversational magnetism.

Often in delivering training there is a “listening skills” component. Talk turns to techniques, tips, tricks and blocks to listening (summarised here). The more I reflect on this, the more I come back to the same basic thoughts. In order to listen, you need to be present. (That’s present in the sense of paying attention in the moment. It’s not present as in the opposite of absent.)

Practicing good listening is – almost? – an art. You don’t “do” art, you “be” it. For some, it’s a lost art. For others, they have yet to discover its value.

So – for the record – here’s my listening checklist:

A) Choose to listen. (Be open to receiving. Stop broadcasting for a wee while.)

B) Prepare yourself. (Crank up your presence in the moment.)

C) “Be” a listener. (Silence, reflection, pause before responding.)

Now go on, give someone a proper listening to…

“Being listened to is so close to being loved that most people cannot tell the difference.”
David Augsberger

Ian-Beer - Blue sky Performance Improvement Ian Beer


Do you listen to interrupt or listen to understand?

January 30, 2012

Firstly watch this video

How many of you have had conversations with people and you are not truly engaged? You’re hearing the words but are not truly engaged or connected with that person. A bit like the video; we were so focused on counting the number of passes we did not even notice the gorilla walk on the screen. I wonder how frequently that happens with people you engage with. They are there but do we really notice? Do we miss out on opportunities to connect and engage with them? Are we really present in the moment with them…ready to really listen?

Listen - Blue Sky Performance Improvement

We all understand the benefits of listening to people, it builds rapport, it shows we are interested in them and it shows we value what they have to say. On the flip side how do you feel when you are not listened to…think about how many times today you had a conversation with someone, maybe your children, when you were not totally present in the moment with that person and truly listening to them. What did you miss…did a Gorilla walk by? As individuals we hear sounds all of the time.  Our ears are constantly battered by noise, from the alarm clock in the morning to the ‘noise’ of silence just before we go to sleep. We’re not always consciously aware of what we hear; the sounds are simply there.  However, hearing is not listening. Listening is seeking to understand before being understood.

What type of listening will you be doing tomorrow? What difference will that make to the people you meet?


Sean Spugin - Blue Sky Performance Improvement

Blue Sky Performance Improvement