We’re all guilty, and we’ve all been victim to one — a bad listener. Sometimes we tune people out, and sometimes we already have our mind made up before we even hear what the other person has to say.
There are many different kinds of listeners, and Dale Carnegie Training has identified seven types of them — and how to deal with them. Of course, Mr. Carnegie himself touted the importance of exceptional listening skills, as a means to persuade others to your way of thinking. Showing someone you are actually listening them also shows trust and respect.
One type of listener: a “preoccupied.” These are the people who seem rushed or are in the middle of doing something else as, or instead of, listening to you. Now, who doesn’t fit this profile at least once in a while? We all have multiple projects, priorities, and deadlines. If you are a “preoccupied,” make it a point to focus when someone is speaking to you. If you’re dealing with a “preoccupied,” begin by asking them if this is a good time, or telling them you need their undivided attention for a moment — and then say what you have to say, quickly.
Another type of listener is an “out-to-luncher.” These are the people who are only pretending to pay attention to you. If you find yourself doing this, try to stay alert, maintain eye contact, and ask questions. If you’re dealing with one, check in with them periodically to be sure they know what you’re saying.
There are many more; click on the story link above to read about them all.
I confess that I am often a “preoccupied,” mainly because I am usually running in 15 different directions. But when someone is telling me something important, I do try to focus and actually listen to what they are saying.
What do you think? Do you fell into any of these traps? Do you have tips for dealing with one of these listeners?
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