The importance of deep listening and how to identify the 4 types of poor listening styles

By Posted on : 28 Jun 2017 0 Comments

With our busy lifestyles, we often find that we have a million and one thoughts running through our minds. How many times have you found yourself in a meeting where you felt your staff were not giving you their full attention, or finding yourself walking away from a meeting where you have not been able to pin point any learnings from it and perhaps even seen it as precious time lost?

Deep listening is a skill – a practice and a discipline. Oscar Trimboli’s book “Deep Listening – Impact Beyond Words” tells us that having an awareness of deep listening is the starting point of improving this skill. For those who are not conscious of deep listening, we often find we can identify ourselves with one of the following 4 habits of poor listening:

1.The Lost Listener

As a lost listener, you may find that you often find yourself tuning out, with information coming in one ear, but going out the other. If you find that you identify with this type of listener, focusing on the speakers’ breathing will help to bring you back into the moment, while giving you an opportunity to really focus and take in what they are saying.

2. The Shrewd Listener

This type of listener might be met with a frustrated “you aren’t listening to me!”, because you are trying to solve their issue in your head instead of being present in the moment. This is often the affliction of a quick mind. You feel you can solve the issue before the speaker has had a chance to explain it fully. If you feel you identify with the shrewd listener, ensure you listen beyond the words of the speaker and focus on the context of the dialogue.

3. The Interrupting Listener

We all seem to know one. Do you finish off the speakers’ sentences because you feel they are not getting to the point, or you just can’t help but to interrupt or interject? You listen with the intent of solving, rather than with the intent of listening. The key here is to listen to what is the unsaid – what is the speaker not saying?

4. The Dramatic Listener

If you are this type of listener, you love drama. You explore and often over-explore every element of the speakers’ discussion. You not only love listening to their drama, but you create a bit yourself. Ensure you focus on the dialogue, and not just the actors and storyline.

The next time you are involved in a discussion, whether it be in a group or a one on one, take the time to ensure you are present in the moment and really put your deep listening skills into practice.

Having attended my first LBDGroup dinner last week, the Founder and CEO Janine Garner encouraged us to be present in the moment, and really take the time to listen to what the speaker is saying. Despite our busy lifestyles, we should always be self-aware of deep listening and take the time to engage with whomever we are speaking with, and to listen beyond the words.

A huge thank you to the inspirational Janine Garner, for making my first LBDGroup dinner so memorable, as well as all of the incredible ladies who offered and shared their knowledge on the night. It was so lovely meeting you all! Not only did I feel inspired, but I left the dinner with key new learnings which I felt I could translate into both my personal and work life.

Click here for more information on the LBDGroup.

The beautiful photographs on the night were taken by Melinda Hird Photography.

Make sure you have a read of Oscar Trimboli’s book “Deep Listening” to find out more about reconnecting with your deep listening skills.