Curiousity – A Key To Listening

Why do we all have such difficulty listening to others?   For me I often distracted by my thinking about what I am going to say next.  I am thinking "How can I share my ideas" rather than find out what the other person thinks.  

How can I make myself more curious about what the other person thinks and learn from them as opposed to try to show how smart I am.  

I am going to try some really open questions for the next week.  Let me give you some examples:

  • OH?
  • Tell me more?
  • Interesting?
  • (silence)
  • MMM?
  • Can you explain that?
  • What's you opinion on ________?
  • What do you think?

I will report how well I do and see if it improves my listening.    Thoughts?

  1. Graham Reply

    Jim, maybe you should golf with the Pro at the course and listen to him. Might help your game 🙂

  2. Jim Hayward Reply

    I met a guy this week who was in the trucking business and I did learn about the LTL trucking business. I think I was curious. I wonder what he thought.
    Last week I played with a fellow in the supply business for pipelines and oil companies. I was pleased I remember what he told me before about his business model. I found out even more this time.
    Both stories kept my mind off my terrible golf game.
    That is my report on “Curious Jim”

  3. Jim Hayward Reply

    Especially for Type A thinkers. We are so good at problem solving we can hardly wait for the person to finish before we start talking.
    I think we assume everybody thinks the same way, which is of course ridiculous.

  4. Graham Reply

    I think we’re often to busy to listen. Wanting to get on to the next thing. It takes a lot of concentration to slow down and really listen and absorb what the speaker is saying.

  5. Jim Hayward Reply

    Thanks, Tim, for your thoughtful comment.
    I think we are often so much into our own game that it is hard to realize others may have things we can benefit from.
    I am convinced we miss so much by not listening more and keeping an open mind.
    Interesting idea asking others how they would rate you as a listener.

  6. Tim Attia Reply

    I agree completely. I think it’s hard to fake true curiosity and interest. In addition to your list you might want to come up with one question that is specific to other person that is also open scope. i.e. add one question not our your list is very specific or personal to them. Having it ahead of time means you are already in tuned with them and interested. Coming up with it on the spot mean you’re listening. Too bad the other person is the one who decides if you are listening. Is there a question that you can ask to see how well you are listening from their perspective. How about…on a score of 1 – 10 would you introduce me to your friend or colleagues? Where 8-10 is a promoter. 6 -8 are neutral and 1-5 are detractors. I be we would all score in the negative range on a net promoter scale.

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