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Overeager, false listening

 In Listening

It was as if he was thinking, ‘Even though the point hasn’t been made, I’ll show that I already understand it, just in case I don’t understand it when he’s finished sharing the point’.

Let me elaborate on the above statement. Recently I had a coffee meeting with a younger (30ish) executive. During the meeting this man was interested to hear certain quotations, that I had learned from, in my career.

As soon as I started to share the quotes the executive (who was already quite animated in his facial expressions and body language) said “yup” a couple of times and expressed through his face that he had already understood the point of the quotations. However, because the point of the quotations hadn’t been made, understanding them would not have been possible.

It was if he was thinking, ‘Even though the point hasn’t been made, I’ll show that I already understand it, just in case I don’t understand it when he’s finished sharing the point’.

On reflection, I think the underlying reason for this overeager, false listening was that this person was doubtful of his listening processing ability. He didn’t trust himself enough to stay in the moment and wait until the point of the quotes was shared. Or he didn’t have the confidence – if needed – after the quotes were relayed, to say he was unsure of their meaning.

If he had asked for my feedback on his communication I would have told him said this:

a. DBAE (Don’t Be Anywhere Else) when you’re having an interaction.

b. Still your body, focus your mind and fully listen to the other person’s words, voice, face and body language.

c. Trust yourself to wait until a person has finished speaking to realise the meaning of the message.

d. Have the confidence to ask for the meaning/point when you don’t understand.

The ‘how to apply’ for this post: In the next seven days, trial one of the above feedback points and reflect on the results.

p.s. By the way, below are the quotes I shared from the late business philosopher, Jim Rohn.

“Up until age 25 I worked hard on my job and made a living. From age 25 I worked hard on myself and made a fortune.”

“Success isn’t what you pursue. It’s what you attract by the person you become.”

“If you will change everything will change for you. If you don’t change your next five years will be similar to you last five years.”

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