TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOOD LISTENING
- STOP TALKING! You cannot listen if you are talking. Polonius (Hamlet) said: "Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice."
- PUT THE TALKER AT EASE. Help him feel that he is free to talk. This is often called a 'permissive environment'.
- SHOW HIM THAT YOU WANT TO LISTEN. Look and act interested. Do not ignore him while he talks. Listen to understand rather than reply.
- REMOVE DISTRACTIONS. Don't doodle, tap or shuffle papers. Will it be quieter if you close the door?
- EMPATHIZE WITH HIM. Try to put yourself in his place so that you can see his point of view.
- BE PATIENT. Allow plenty of time. Do not interrupt him. Don't start for the door, or walk away.
- HOLD YOUR TEMPER. An angry man gets the wrong meaning from words. 'He who angers you, conquers you'.
- GO EASY ON ARGUMENT AND CRITICISM. This puts him on the defensive. He may 'clam up' or get angry. Don't argue. If you win, you lose.
- ASK QUESTIONS. This encourages him and shows that you are listening. It helps develop points further.
- STOP TALKING! This is the first and last commandment because all others depend on it. You just can't do a good listening job while you are talking.
....GOD GAVE MAN TWO EARS BUT ONLY ONE TONGUE. WHICH IS A GENTLE HINT THAT HE SHOULD LISTEN MORE THAN HE TALKS.......