When I was young and first married, I thought that listening to my wife meant looking in her general direction several times while she was talking. I also thought that I was a good multi-tasker. I believed that I could do several things at the same time and keep up with them all without any real trouble. What I did not realize is that I was skipping the important parts of listening and doing only the very, very elementary components of it.
A bad listener will acknowledge that a person entered the room and may even grunt or say "yeah" a few times while the person is talking, but they are never really engaged with them. They think that listening is NOT an active process and they treat it as something that isn't that important. A good listener, on the other hand, realizes that people can and only do one thing at a time. Our brains cannot think in divergent patterns, but they can jump from one to another quickly. That means that you actually can't listen to someone and read a book, or respond to an email at the same time.
There are four specific components that must be present in order for a person to be considered a great listener. In order, you must...
This is a very short summary of what the four steps are in being a great listener. The process of listening is both scientific and intuitive, but the basis for it is the science outlined in these four steps. If you would like further information about how to turn your team into great listeners, connect with me and set up a time to discuss the process. Or, you can schedule directly with me at www.jodyholland.com/speaking.html at the bottom of the page.
To Your Success,
Jody N Holland
Author, Speaker, Motivator
#Verizon Wireless has a commercial that has been around for several years with a cell signal tester walking around hundreds of places asking, "Can you hear me now?" and then saying, "Good." We don't really know what the person on the other end of the line said. All we know for sure is that he asked the question and was then happy with the answer or lack of answer that he got. Communication is much the same way for some people. There are a number of people that are perfectly content with simply throwing their message out there and not getting, or not caring about, the response from the listener(s). Communication, even in a mass setting, is not intended to be one-sided. It is intended to be interactive, complex, symbolic, and completely unavoidable.
It is interactive in that true communication isn't happening unless there is a sender, a receiver, and a channel through which the message travels. The premise of the real story on communication is that the sender creates and encodes (puts their own meaning into) a message. That message is then sent via a channel to a receiver, or to lots of receivers. Ideally, the sender has considered the needs and past experiences of the receiver(s) in order to ensure that his/her message is easily received, decoded, and understood. It is also important to consider what channel is the best based on the sender's target audience. When the receiver gets the message, they interpret or decode it by apply the meaning that they have placed on past, similar, experiences to this instance. They then send feedback to the original sender which will verify whether or not the intended message was correctly understood.
This process is a circular flow of communication from sender through a channel to the receiver and back through a channel to the original sender. Hearing a person has more to do with understanding the intent of the message than it does hearing the actual words that are said. When we put meaning behind the tone of voice, body language, and facial expressions, we are decoding the message and making it mean something to us. The only way that the original sender knows if they were effective is to receive feedback. So, just like "Verizon Man," we are continuously watching and listening to the people that we are interacting with in order to truly know...
Can you hear me now?
To Your Success,
Jody N Holland
We live in a world that is consistently getting faster, busier, and more clouded. We live in a world that offers the illusion of peace in every ad on tv and the false beliefs of salvation if you will just have this operation, or buy this cream, and on and on. We live in a world that has lost its ability to be still and listen.
I remember a story that I read a few years back about a reporter that had tried to "trip up" Mother Theresa. She was asked if she spoke with God and she responded, "I speak with Him every day." The reporter then asked what she said when she spoke to God. She let a small smile curl on her lips and she said, "Mostly, I just listen." The reporter looked slightly puzzled and then said, "When you are listening, what does God say to you." She smiled a little more and said, "Mostly, He just listens."
I think that we do too much going and not enough simply being still and and being in the presence of Creation itself. Meditation isn't just about breathing, although that it a part of it. It is, in my experience, mostly about stopping and allowing our "Monkey Minds" to turn off and then simply listening. We don't have to listen for anything in particular. We simply have to stop and allow existence to be and for us to be a part of that being. At the end of this sentence, I want you to pause for a good 30 seconds and just breathe in and breathe out and then listen for what is around you.
It is in stillness that we can connect with the source of all creation. It is in stillness that we can be reminded that we are connected to this source and therefore connected to everything. Your power comes from simply letting go of trying to control your world and enjoying the fact that there are signs of creation all around you. My plan for today is to enjoy breathing, enjoying seeing, enjoying my heart beating, and enjoy the fact that I am alive with creation and I am a co-creator of my own existence.
Be still and listen!
Jody is a writer, motivational speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur. He has been the keynote speaker at over 250 events around the world. Jody speaks more than 150 times per year at different programs, and he has given more than 10,000 speeches during his career.