17 Ways to Enhance Listening – Secret of Success

The number one reason for any communication failure is Listening.

Listening is one of the most important secret ingredient of many successful leaders.

Every head is a world out there. But it is just not the head alone involved in the process of  listening.

I strongly believe that Listening is a

  1. Choice
  2. Art
  3. Gift

Choice: Choosing to listen to someone is a decision. Most of the time we are completely unaware that we are making a choice. Listening is not a passive activity. It’s not about being quiet or even hearing the words. It’s an action and it takes energy to listen.

It’s easier to notice conscious choices. If we don’t want to hear what someone is saying, we can tune him/her out in an instant. Once we become aware of listening as a choice, we will notice that we have many opportunities to practice choosing to listen in our daily lives. It is a profound awakening

Gift: In fact, one of the greatest gifts we can give another is to listen to him or her with total attention. When somebody listens to you, he was simply there with you, you felt understood, refreshed, whole, connected and healed. Thinking about listening as a gift that you either give or receive places a new emphasis on the value of listening. It makes it easier to slow down or savor the conversation, either by opening up to receive the gift or by extending the hospitality of giving the gift.

Art: There are many wonderful techniques and tools for more effective listening such as active listening, empathetic listening, relational listening, contemplative listening, heart listening etc

Types of Listening

1) Brain based listening

Left Brain – Active Listening

  • Encourage
  • Ask questions
  • Paraphrase
  • Summarize

Right Brain – Passive Listening

  • Understand perceptions
  • Listen to words
  • Listen to body language
  • Listen to emotions

2) Heart Listening

  • Contemplative Listening
  • Mindful Listening
  • Reflective Listening

3) Silence

S-I-L-E-N-T = L-I-S-T-E-N

17 Simple Practices & techniques for Effective Listening

1)      Practice deep abdominal breathing everyday for 10 min

2)      Practice Silence for 10 minutes every day

3)      Practice yoga nidra everyday to unburden the emotions at the heart level for effective listening

4)      Practice Mindful meditation everyday taking any mundane tasks like brushing your teeth, taking a shower, preparing a meal, eating a meal, listening to music etc

5)      Practice mindful 2 breaths phone calls before you attend

6)      Choose one person a day & listen to them completely

7)      Observe a couple of people or a group in conversation everyday and note down in your journal

8)      Practice eye contact whenever you say “Thank you”, “No Problem”, “You are welcome”

9)      Choose any one task you do each day and be fully present while you are doing it

10)   Practice paraphrasing what you hear during meetings

11)   Listen for the space between words when you attend meetings

12)   Listen to music without doing anything else. Allow yourself to be at one with music

13)   Whenever you walk around your hospital notice everything you see

14)   Ask others what you could do to improve your listening skills

15)   Smile as you listen to others

16)   Notice your breathing when you focus on one aspect of your daily chore at a time

17)   Practice acknowledging one person a day with whom you come in contact with. Let go of any expectation of how this will be received or returned

When you develop the ability to listen to the sound of your natural breath, you will find that your ability to listen to others would have improved substantially.


Happy Listening…

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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