Book: Time to Think, Listening to ignite the human mind
Author: Nancy Kline
Becoming a better listener is probably one of the most impactful ways of becoming more effective in life (professionally, family, friends, relationships). Or as described by Stephen Covey: one of the ways to increase your circle of influence is to first seek to understand, then to be understood.
The world around us is noisy, we are in a hurry, plenty of things on our plate, easily distracted by technology etc. What can we do to become a better listener? Here are some great takeaways to be a better listener and to create a Thinking Environment where people feel understood and are stimulated and encouraged to think for themselves.
- Attention: listening with respect, interest and fascination.
- Incisive questions: removing assumptions that limit ideas.
- Equality: treating each other as thinking peers.
- Giving equal turns and attention.
- Keeping agreements and boundaries
- Appreciation: practising a five-to-one ration of appreciation to criticism.
- Ease: offering freedom from rush or urgency.
- Encouragement: moving beyond competition.
- Feelings: allowing sufficient emotional release to restore thinking.
- Information: providing a full and accurate picture of reality.
- Place: creating a physical environment that says back to people ‘You matter’.
- Diversity: adding quality because of the difference between us.
In line with the above but probably a more pragmatic start to become a better listener is Julian Treasure’s acronym RASA:
- Receive (pay attention to the person)
- Appreciate (small indications you’re listening)
- Ask (questions)
Watch Treasure’s TED talk below.