Listening – Power, Skill, and Style
Your greatest tool of influence is your ears.
Listening increases the value and impact of your words.
“Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you.” Alan Alda
4 listener styles:
Dana Dupuis lists four listener styles.
#1. Connective style focuses on what an interaction means for others.
- Notice how people feel.
- Wonder why people are sharing this.
- Ask questions for others.
#2. Reflective style focuses on processing information internally, with a strong reliance on the listener’s own judgment rather than the advice of others.
- Listen but don’t ask questions. Share conclusions. (They don’t share reasoning.)
- Listen quietly. They may seem intimidating.
- Seldom ask for advice or opinions. They make up their own mind.
#3. Analytical style focuses on facts, data, and measurable information.
You say things like:
- Get to the point.
- Just the facts.
- I don’t need all the fluff.
#4. Conceptual style focuses on brainstorming and idea generation.
- Love dreaming about the future.
- Embrace failure. What can we do differently next time?
- Explore options.
4 steps to improve listener skill:
#1. Declare an intention.
Choose one of the four styles as an intention. “I intend to listen to connect,” for example.
#2. Seek feedback.
- When you’re talking, how do I let you know I’m paying attention?
- What might give you the impression that I’m not listening?
#3. Choose one skill to practice.
- Turning toward people and giving eye contact.
- Turning away from computers and cell phones.
- Pausing before speaking.
- Ask, “What else?”
- Say, “Could you tell me more about…?”
You employ several listening styles and lean toward one. I lean toward conceptual listening. I never met an idea that I couldn’t do something with.
What’s your preferred style?
What’s one thing you could do to improve your ability to listen?