People-Skills: Listening Beyond Your Boundary
by Kate Nasser |
Great speakers and writers know the power of words. The right words can excite, engage, and entertain. They can paint images, spur debate, and chart new directions.
The right words, however, cannot get beyond a listening boundary we create ourselves. In my teaching, consulting, and blogging, I have seen one pesky listening boundary recur across diverse audiences.
Previous experience traps words in one context & blocks listening.
What Words Trigger a Listening Boundary?
We may never know exactly which words will trap us in a listening boundary. We ready ourselves to swim beyond a boundary by knowing when words trap our listening.
- When we already have strong feeling, emotion, or opinion. In my customer service workshops, the word paraphrase often stops people from listening to what I mean by that word. They picture the horrible experience of agents reading from a script parroting each thing they say. This of course is not paraphrasing. Yet their previous experience temporarily blocks listening.
- When we have had intense or rigid occupational training. There are some professions where certification or licensing drill people into fixed ways of thinking. Good for performance in that profession; bad for listening and interacting beyond that boundary.
- When we crave control. Cravings take over mind and body and block listening. Oddly enough, craving control destroys any chance of having control. Without input, our current knowledge becomes outdated or invalid. Listening is the path to continued understanding and success.
- When we are impatient for results and closure. Time pressures, personality type, fear of failure breed impatience and create a listening boundary.
Listening Beyond the Boundary
Question, digest, and absorb.
1. Replace fear of looking ignorant with strength from active listening.
2. Postpone persuading until you know the field of sway.
3. Consider the context of the communicator before hawking your context.
4. Leave room for various meanings. Language is not a science.
Shall we start a list of common words that trap us in a listening boundary? Or will you share below some other conditions that spawn listening boundaries? I welcome your contributions to this post in the comments section below.
©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. For permission to re-post or republish, please email email@example.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach, has amassed 21 years of stellar results with corporate customers turning interpersonal obstacles into business success. Her energy is legendary, her insight objective, and her results tangible. See this site for info about her keynotes, workshops, and dvds.