Nowadays, everyone should learn how to listen better. Not only is this necessary for us as humans to become better at understanding the human condition - but also to open up more opportunities!
Because of this realization, I made this funny book review for Just Listen by Mark Goulston.
This is one of the most important books to read - the human race counts on you!
If we became better listeners, lots of conflict would be resolved more quickly.
This books goes over some of the interpersonal skills you could develop to communicate more effectively.
The Silence Is Deafening
Have you ever noticed that the more you listen, the more people tend to tell you things?
The silence can create a stir when someone else feels like more could be said.
It's almost like a magic trick, stay quiet long enough and someone will begin talking.
That's because you are setting up a space for another person to speak so that you can listen.
Use this skill wisely.
Staying silent for too long can make others feel uncomfortable and may even resistant to saying more.
That's because there are two main steps that people tend to go through in what Mark Goulston calls the persuasion cycle.
And those two main steps you can see everyday: resistance first, listening second.
Being listened to is a Catch 22, listen in order to be listened to.
You Can't Be A Good Listener Without Mastering Your Emotions
Ever had a cocktail of chemicals floating around in your head?
A good memory margarita will not make you present to what someone is saying if you are somewhere else in your head.
In order to be present, you've got to be grounded, willing to take it all in.
You know how when someone buys you a drink at the bar you take it all in and say thanks.
The same goes for when you are listening - you are getting their cocktail of communication and savoring every sip.
If they see you are present, they are willing to do the same for you.
That is because we have these "mirror neurons" in our head that allows us to reenact what another person is feeling and doing.
If you are actively seeking to understand someone else, they may just reciprocate to what you have to say as well!
If you are in a good mood, and they are not - being grounded in your emotions will allow they to come to your level of being.
Making the interaction more effective for the two.
Another great way to be present and allowing the other person to open up is to be vulnerable around them.
Show your neck, so that they can show you theirs.
Kinda sounds like a vampire setting us up.
Be Grateful And Be Specific
Whenever you thank someone, you are showing them that you are present.
Have you ever held the door for someone and they never thanked you for it?
What about when you went out of your way and acted in kindness to not receive a remark of gratitude?
These moments are very critical for us because it seems like you are being taken for granted.
And that doesn't imply that you are being listened to.
Always find ways to show your thanks when interacting with someone, you could brighten their day.
Another way to show gratitude is to be specific as possible!
The more specific you are in thanking someone the more it feels authentic and genuine.
Because you are explaining in detail what it was like to be present and listening to them!
If you'd like to learn more about being a better listener, check out the book Just Listen by Mark Goulston!