Listening


Reading is Great, but if your read an important book, magazine article or speech, you should make sure you get the most out of it.

Here’s my suggestion how to do this: When you come across a thought or sentence that hits you as being important and that you want to be able to use later in conversation or just for your inspiration:

Hold on a moment, re-read it a second and third time, think about it.

Then copy this quotation or motivational passages and memorize it.

Reading ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne I have marked many passages, and written them into a small book for myself. Using this small book now, I get to the essence of the book immediately and can refresh my memory easily.

Copying the important passages forces you to develop the right mental habits which will inevitably lead you to success.

Listening is an other very important skill that many people neglect. If you catch yourself not really listening to the other perosn when in a conversation, or forgetting immediately what was said, and you want to change this, the audio book ‘Listening – a forgotten skill’ might be just the audio book you are looking for.

Managers and other employees spend more than 40 percent of their time listening to other people but often do it so poorly that the result is misunderstood instructions, misdirected projects, and erroneous actions—millions of dollars’ worth of mistakes just because most people don’t know how to listen.

In this new edition of her classic guide to the art of effective listening, Madelyn Burley-Allen shows you how to acquire active, productive listening skills and put them to work for you—professionally, socially, and personally.

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Tolerance to accept new ideas, or ideas and beliefs opposite to your own, is important.

Tolerance does not mean you have to adapt everything all others believe or do, but you should keep an open mind, eye and ear for the ideas and beliefs of others. Doing so might just add some know-how to your own treasure chest of life experience and knowledge!

Tolerance needs to be cultivated, because it’s not at all easy to not simply say “Bullshit” and to move on. It takes a lot more effort on your part to first listen or read something that is opposite to your beliefs and habits, or that is new and seems strange at first, and then to think about it.

By going through this process of allowing new thoughts, digesting them and then making your own mind up before simply rejecting anything new and unusual you will discover facettes of the world and of people around you that otherwise would simply bypass you.

  • When you are reading, read with an open mind. Write the questions that come to mind and that you would like to find answers, in the margins. Then take action and research, ask others, look things up on the internet.
  • When you encounter something new and unusual, try to understand what the motivation and drive behind it is and don’t just dismiss it outright.
  • Accept that others have a different opinion and the right to have it.
  • Accept that you or anybody else does not have the absolute monopole and truth about anything.

The key to tolerance is the ability to listen. This is a great audio on listening: ‘Listening: The Forgotten Skill’. Madelyn Burley-Allen shows in this audio how to improve listening skills and how to eliminate distractions and improve your concentration on what is being said; how to locate key words, phrases, and ideas while listening; how to cut through your own listening biases. In the audio you also learn how to ask constructive, non-threatening questions that will provide you with real information in the answers.

Don’t let your subconcious mind take over when it comes to listening and tolerance. You can program yourself to accept ideas and then make up your mind, rather than simply reject the unknown, unusual and new!

Concentration is the key element to productivity. Manage to concentrate on whatever you do right now, and you get it done faster, better and it’s easier.

Experiments have shown, that we are able to fully concentrate for approximately 15 minutes at the time, then the mind needs a short break. People who train hard, can increase this span to much longer times, but full, 100% concentration can not be upheld indefinitely. Chess players know how difficult it can be to concentrate for long time spans. We seem to reach a saturation point after which the brain overloads and refuses to focus on a single goal or task.

The trick therefore is to work in phases of high concentration and then do something else that releases the pressure on the system and lets you breathe for a few minutes and then work with a spell of concentration again.

The very same problem of upholding the concentration applies to listening. We tend to listen to others for a short time and then our thoughts wander off….. Misundertandings are the results. If you want to increase your listening skills, concentration is key.

In her audiobook ‘Listening: The Forgotten Skill’ Madelyn Burley-Allen shows you how to acquire active, productive listening skills and put them to work for you – professionally, socially, and personally. With her time-tested techniques, you’ll learn how to:

  • Eliminate distractions and improve your concentration on what is being said.
  • Locate key words, phrases, and ideas while listening
  • Cut through your own listening biases
  • Interpret body language clues
  • Ask constructive, non-threatening questions that elicit real information
  • Get others to listen to you
  • Master a whole range of listening skills that you can use on the job and in your personal life

Sure Listening is only one area where concentration is VERY important. Just ask yourself how often you are drifting off in your thoughts whilst talking with others and whilst you really should be listening. Maybe you should make an effort too?