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Listening Skills Blog

Chris Farmer's Leadership and Management Training Blog

Chris Farmer

Welcome - the purpose of the blog page is to provide you with a never ending source of valuable, practical and entertaining information designed to help you get the best performance from yourself and others.

In these blogs you will find all the information you need to make faster progress in less time and effort. Here you will find all the information you need to achieve your goals. In addition to helping yourself to achieve your goals, you can use the same information to help others to achieve their goals.

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Listening Skills Blogs

How can I improve my listening skills?

  1. Give the other 100% of your mental focus
  2. Listen with intent to understand, (not with intent to reply)
  3. Visualise what you hear
  4. Ask questions if you don’t understand
  5. Actively try to memorise

Listening is an often-neglected part of the communication process. When thinking of communication skills, most people think of effectively transmitting a message. (Speaking, writing, body language and voice tones). but for every transmitter there must be a receiver. And so listening is as important as speaking. In order to improve listening skills, you need to develop the following skills:

Give the other 100% of your mental focus. Listening is an active, not a passive process. Listening is work. It takes effort to actively listen to a message and to understand its meaning. It is easy to drift off and allow the message to wash over you without making a dent. Good listeners pay attention.

Listen with intent to understand, not to reply, means that the first duty of a listener it to understand the content and meaning of the message. This means that you must temporarily drop defences and resist the urge to fight against the elements of the message you don’t agree with. This means: KEEP AN OPEN MIND. At least for a while.

Visualise what you hear. Everyone thinks in pictures. And good listeners are often those who are able to translate words into vivid mental images. Good listeners can actually SEE what you mean. If you want to improve your listening, and your reading, actively try to generate mental images of the message as you hear it.

Ask questions if you don’t understand. If there is any doubt as to the exact meaning of the message, as a question. Don’t guess. Don’t assume too much.

Actively try to memorise what you hear. Memory is improved when you try to remember. If you don’t try to remember you probably won’t remember. If you cannot remember what you hear, the message was wasted.

Good listeners remember everything.

Listening Skills Blogs

How to Ask Good Questions

5 April 2019 How to Ask Good Questions Thumbnail

A person is judged by their questions rather than by their answers. Are you stuck in a rut, not progressing in your career? Learning to ask good questions is key to your learning and understanding. Here are some great questions you can use.

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How to Improve Active Listening Skills

12 February 2019 How to Improve Active Listening Skills Thumbnail

Active listening is a useful skill to master, not only you will gain a more in-depth understanding of what is being talked about, but Managers who are active listeners will develop a better working relationship with their team.

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Communication Skills: Listen-Out for What is Not Being Said

22 December 2015 Communication Skills: Listen-out for What is Not Being Said Thumbnail

When listening to another person who is trying to convince you to accept an idea, or opinion, it is often very important to listen out for what is NOT being said, ie you need to be concerned with what the other person is taking for granted.

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How to Improve your Listening Skills

10 April 2015 How to Improve Your Listening Skills Thumbnail

Listening is a great way to build relationships and be more popular.

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How to Ask the Right Questions

18 August 2014

How to ask the right questions Communication skills training includes how to ask the right questions. In any conversation, there is always the danger of some misinterpretation of the meaning of the message. The causes of the misinterpretation are many and each cause can be averted by asking the right question

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Five Ways to Improve your Listening Skills

23 May 2014

Five ways to improve your listening skills An important part of your communication is your listening skills. Listening is important because the vast majority of the information relating to your work comes to you through conversation and meetings with others. If you want to gain knowledge about what is going on

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Listening Skills Training

18 March 2013

Listening skills training Communication is a two way process. You need to receive information, as well as you transmit information. You have to be a good listener. Many people are not good listeners. Many people are self-absorbed, and they concern themselves with their own thoughts, more than the thoughts of the

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Communication Techniques

17 February 2012

Communication Techniques Communication is the art of transferring ideas and information from one mind to the next. The intention of your communication varies depending on the context. You may wish to communicate in order to: Inform some person of a fact Inform some person of an opinion Give an instruction Demonstrate

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Blog Categories

Accelerated Learning (7)

Accelerated learning techniques are special methods of organising information, so that you can more rapidly memorise and more accurately recall it on demand. Accelerated learning also includes mind mapping and creative thinking techniques.

Assertiveness (10)

Assertiveness is a both a communication style and a mind-set which, when combined, allows a people to express their meaning using just the amount of forcefulness, in relation to their body language, voice tone and spoken language.

Change Management (20)

Change management training is how to use the fact of continuous change, to work FOR you, rather than against you. It is a fact that all improvement implies change, but many people hate change. Change management is about training people to love change as a means of making the future better.

Coaching, Mentoring and Developing Staff (8)

There is a pressing need to develop the next generation of leaders, managers and technical experts. One way to develop staff is through coaching and mentoring. To be an effective coach and mentor is not an easy skill to master. These blogs discuss the skills of coaching, mentoring and staff development.

Communication - Clear Communication (60)

One to the most important facets of communication is clarity. Whenever you write or speak, your words should denote only one possible meaning. If your words can be properly interpreted in multiple ways, then you are creating the conditions for confusion, error and misunderstanding. These blogs discuss the nature of clear communication.

Communication - Listening Skills (8)

Communication includes the ability to attend to, understand and memorise what people say to you. Effective Listening is an active, not a passive process. These bloggs discuss what it takes to be a good listener.

Communication - Nonverbal Communication (7)

Communication includes a large visual component. How you appear, as you speak, makes a big difference to how your message is received. These blogs are about how to best use your body language. (Eye contact, posture, dress, hand and arm gestures, etc.)

Communication - Persuasive Communication (34)

Persuasion is the art of convincing others that your ideas are good, right, fair and practical, and in addition, persuasion includes motivating people to put your ideas into action. Persuasion is a key communication skill that everyone should study. These blogs discuss how to be more persuasive.

Communication - Written Communication (9)

A part of your communication is in the written form. Writing well is a skill that most people do not study, though it is of immense importance. These blogs discuss how you might improve your written communication.

Conflict Management and Handling Difficult People (29)

Conflict is inevitable, and when it occurs, you need to resolve it quickly and efficiently. Conflict management (and handling difficult people) is about managing your communication and your emotions, so that you arrive at a negotiated solution as quickly as possible. This series of blogs discusses the various ways you can best manage conflict.

Decision Making and Problem Solving (16)

Decision making is the skill of selecting the best option from many options. And problem solving is the skill at determining the causes and implications of a problem and finding efficient remedies. This series of blogs discusses the elements of effective decision making and problem solving.

Goal Setting (10)

Success is the achievement of a worthwhile goal. And therefore, the first step to achieving a goal is to set it. Goal setting is the starting point of all achievement and is one of the most important topics you could study. This series of blogs discuss the elements of goal setting.

Leadership and Management (131)

Leadership is the art of setting a clear goal and inspiring others to achieve it. Management is the art of organising resources so as to most efficiently achieve that goal. This series of blogs discuss the details of leadership and management.

Mental Health (6)

Mental health is the skill of managing your own mind so as to achieve mental stability and a high degree of rationality. Mental ill health is the opposite, mental instability and irrational actions. This series of blogs, discusses how you might manage your mind.

Motivation (23)

Motivation is an emotion that induces action. Without motivation, nobody would achieve anything of value. This series of blogs discusses the various ways you can motivate yourself and others.

Other (40)

Whilst interesting and informative in their own right, these blogs don't fit into a category.

People Management (4)

People management is a combination of skills including goal setting, communication, planning, handling conflict and motivation skills. This series of blogs discusses people management skills.

Personal Development (91)

The best investment you can make is in your own personal development. If you develop your skills, knowledge and experience, then you will maximise your potential to produce excellent results. This series of blogs looks at the details of personal development.

Personal Effectiveness (82)

You are not paid for how hard you work; you are paid for your effectiveness. It is possible to improve your effectiveness and get more valuable work done in less time and effort. This series of blogs discusses how you might improve your personal effectiveness and therefore speed up your rate of progress.

Stress Management (2)

Stress can be both good for you and bad for you. Good Stress triggers improvement. Bad stress grinds you down. Stress management is about using stress to help you to improve, and to avoid the negative effects of too much stress. These blogs discuss the various aspects of stress management.

Supervisory Management Skills (4)

Supervisory management skills are a combination of five major skill sets, setting goals, communication skills, planning, performance management and motivation. These blogs discuss the details of supervisory management skills.

Team Leadership (3)

For the most part, we all work in teams. Leading the team effectively can make all the difference to the performance of the team, as a whole. This series of blogs discuss the details of team leadership.

Teamwork (22)

Teams are often composed of people who have very different personalities and skills. In order to perform well, the members of the team must work well together and play to each other’s strengths. This series of blogs covers the importance of team work skills.

Time Management (66)

Time management is about prioritising, planning, organising and delegating, so that, at any moment, you are always adding the most value, and setting the conditions for your future success. This series of blogs investigates how you might better manage your time.