Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tired of People Giving You Their Advice. Test If You Can Stop Giving Advice and Tune into Active Listening.

I failed the test when I tried to stop giving advice. Short of zipping my mouth shut or duct taping it, it is a great effort for me to change and stop giving advice.
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 So rather than focusing on stopping my advising behavior, I think I'll try a pro-active plan: to be a listener, an active listener. The art of listening is a rarity. It requires me to suspend my own needs. How do I let go of my need to give advice?

Michael P. Nichols who wrote The Lost Art of Listening, says "effective listening requires attention, appreciation, and affirmation." If I can learn to really listen then there is no need for advice-giving. The person to whom I am listening will instead form their own solutions.

Can you imagine how much attention, appreciation and affirmation I can show if I said, "Take Your Time -- I'm listening." Listening is not a one-way street - it like a two-way radio or satellite which sends and receives signals. 

When a person talks to me and I am listening, I need to tune into their channel and reflect back what that person said, their original signal. Why? Because my own signal is so strong the other person's channel has static and I don't receive their signal completely. I need to reflect back what they said and check that I received the complete signal. I need to tune my antenna to their channel.

I need to practice listening with the people I have communication problems with. I guess this is how peace negotiators work.

Oh! How I and everyone around me could use more peace! So I'll not need to zip my mouth shut, but to open my ears, my radar, my satellite... to tune in their channel and check with them if I received the signal they sent without my static, my needs.
ACRIMSat animation.gif from (NASA/JPL) wikimedia commons
A Look Inside Michael P. Nichols' book, The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships

Hints for listening if you are in business or social networking

Hints for listening if you are a parent.

Hints for those in Healthcare

Reflective Listening Tips and Some roadblocks to avoid by Chris (WordPress), a fellow blogger.

Please share any ways you have learned that help or prevent the Art of Listening.
I need to tune in... having too much static on my satellite lately.

1 comment:

Chris said...

great post.
reducing "static" in our communications will make us better listeners.