Three ways of listening...


Means that we try hard to hear and understand the other person. We try to place ourselves in his / her situation and see things the way he / she does. We also try to understand what the other person wants to say–which could be difficult to express. We ask for additional information / interpretation, encourage and comment–but avoid anything which might subdue the other person, or arouse defence mechanisms, or be perceived as moralising.


“Seek to understand before trying to be understood”


This amounts to the ‘polite’ “…just go on talking–I’m listening…” We listen and note what we wish to hear.We listen as the interrogator (or prosecutor) for the things which strengthen our viewpoint and weaken the other person’s position. This listening tactic can often be heard in political and media interviews.



Many have developed this into a fine art! They look as if they are listening, they nod, answer “yes”, “of course”, “how interesting” etc — but they actually hear nothing! Often knee-jerk social interaction — a superficial form of ‘social behaviour’.There is of course no room for this type of ‘listening’ in our profession. If we are going to be successful in our interaction with customers and colleagues we must make the effort and practice our listening.



The ‘active’ form of listening takes hard work and much practice to perfect


Posted on

August 18, 2017

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