The 5 Minute Career Mentor. Listening

Here’s the first in an occasional series of relatively short posts written from a mentoring perspective.

In other words, this is knowledge I gained from others and have found useful in my life and career.

1- The Method Of Polite Conversation

This technique is really simple and can work well when talking to someone else or in small groups (such as a well-run meeting):

While one person is speaking, the other(s) stay silent

Try it out first with a friend you trust.

Simply both agree to follow the rule and enjoy a relaxing and flowing conversation, bounded by varying periods of silence!

With practice you can become known as a good listener and someone who is in tune (empathetic) with the concerns and opinions of colleagues and customers, a powerful attribute worth cultivating in business and personal life.

By the way, developing this skill doesn’t necessarily mean that you agree with the speaker, just that you are very good at listening to what is being said.

2- The Echo Chamber

This is a step up from #1 and takes some practice and nerve to pull off.

Here’s the drill:

While listening to the other person speaking, hear their words repeating in your head.

This can be your own voice, the speaker’s voice or anyone you like!

The important point is to feel the speaker’s words as if you were saying& them inside your head.
Again, you don’t have to agree with what the speaker is saying ,just actively listen.

And the point of this technique?

Well, actually there are two main ones:

a- You will be learning to pay attention and if done well, the speaker will surely notice.

b- You are more fully present with the other person, instead of half listening while some part of you is thinking up replies, counter statements etc.

Try it out!

You may both be pleasantly surprised by what is said and heard.