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Webinar preview: The 4 habits that derail you from being a great listener

16 March 2017

The 4 habits that derail you from being a great listener


“One hour of compassionate deep listening can bring about transformation and healing”  ~ Thich Nhat Hanh


We are all taught to speak. Yet none of us are taught how to listen.

The reality is that with no training we can instantly identify when the person we are speaking to isn’t listening.

You learned to listen before you were born. It was the first skill you ever developed – you learned to listen before you learned to breathe or speak.

So why are so many people so bad at listening?

Poor listening is individual and situational. Poor listening habits are a function of who you are speaking to, as well as the nature of the dialogue. Each of us, when we are not conscious of deep listening, can fall into one of these four listening types. These aren’t productive listening habits for you, or the person you are in dialogue with.

As you explore the 4 habits of poor listeners, see what people and situations make you into any of the 4 listening styles. Sometimes you will fall into these habits with people you know well or meet for the first time.

To help hone your listening capability, see if you can think of people who listen in each of the 4 ways when you are speaking. Maybe you might notice which one of these you are guilty doing.


1. Lost Listener

They are in their mind rather than in the conversation. The lost listener is so absorbed with their own self-talk they don’t create enough space in their own mind for the dialogue to land because they are so busy thinking about their last thought or their next thought that they can’t focus on the discussion. They are lost before they turn up to the discussion.


2. Shrewd Listener

They are too busy trying to solve the issue before listening to your explanation. This is the affliction of the shrewd listener – their quick mind. These people are so brilliant that they think they can fix the issue you are discussing before you have explained it. Not only are they so brilliant at fixing the issue you are explaining, they are anticipating and fixing 3-4 issues they think you should be really discussing with them if you were as shrewd as them.

They are shrewd enough to wait patiently and not interrupt, yet they are not present or involved in the dialogue. They are so far into the future that they have forgotten their dialogue is happening in the present.

3. Interrupting Listener

They are too focused on finding a solution that that they are finishing your sentences for you because they feel you are moving too slowly in describing the issue. They listen with the intent of solving, rather than their intent being to listen curiously and completely.

They interrupt and interject before you can fully explain. As the speaker, you feel frustrated and rushed because although they are listening to the content, you can’t completely explain your thoughts or your subsequent thoughts.

4. Dramatic Listener

These listeners love drama and they want to explore and over-explore every element of your discussion. Rather than help you progress your dialogue they are stuck in understanding the historical events and patterns that have led you to the discussion.

The dialogue feels frustrating for you because you are being distracted by the listeners well-meaning and constant questions. They not only love listening to your drama, they also enjoy creating a bit themselves. They are so engrossed and engaged in the drama of your story that they have lost themselves, rather than begin focused on the dialogue.

Do you notice yourself or someone you know in these 4 habits of poor listeners?

Oscar Trimboli is hosting a webinar  “The enormous cost of not listening to our patients” 

Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 7:30pm

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