Suddenly, a new business pops up in your neighborhood, boldly promising to teach you: How to Improve Active Listening. You think, what’s going on, or maybe, what have I missed?

I wonder, are people jonesing to be better listeners? They may be, but I’ve yet to notice a groundswell or hear the clamor from growing crowds calling for new tools that’ll help us master Active Listening Skills. What do you think?

And while I’m fairly sure most of us wish we’d listened at some point with more focused attention to our work colleagues, our clients and most assuredly to our friends and family, actually becoming a better listener is an uncommon desire few of us tote around in the back of our minds.

Our Mind Finds Active Listening Abhorrent

Each day over 60,000 thoughts careen wildly like pinball marbles bouncing around inside out skulls. The thoughts are part of what makes us human. yet rarely do they seem to make much sense to what’s going on in each moment of our day. The stream of thoughts occurs in every person walking on the face of this earth and is part of what makes up human. And to try and shut off the stream will only result in an internal battle, with no winner.

The trick (if there is a trick) is to notice and acknowledge the thoughts while allowing them to come and go. And in-spite of those who wish we didn’t think for ourselves, and only do, buy or say what were told to do, buy or say. it’s possible to allow our thoughts to careen from side to side while at the same time be fully engaged with what’s happening in each moment. We are fully capable of actively listening to those who are speaking and sharing their ideas, dreams and creative visions with us.

Our mind is best left to spew out unrelated thought packages while we go about our day unfazed by all the noise.

Out of nowhere a thought or thought streams into our awareness and lingers. If we are in conversation with others that thought may be an opinion of what’s being said, or it may be a judgement of some part of the conversation. No matter what it is, we need to decide if we’ll share it or allow the speaker to continue uninterrupted. This is where active listening shines, by allowing us to decide if we want interrupt or not.

Often we fail to make the critical choice to speak or to listen. Often it’s as if the thought grabs us and demands our attention. When a thought comes into our awareness label it as “thinking” and go back to listening or focusing on the project at hand.

5 Reasons People Don’t Listen (to you)

1. You’re Not Listening To Them

Recently on This Old House the host asked the chef if there were any health concerns surrounding the use of induction (magnet) cook-tops he’d just installed. The chef immediately listed the benefits of how quickly an induction system would heat the cookware.Oblivious to the non answer the host  moved on to his next comment/question.

At times we all think it’s important that we share our ideas whether they are on topic or not, it’s human nature to want to be involved in the conversation. Trouble is that if we are interjecting judgement and bias frequently into a conversation others in your creative innovation (etc) group will label you as someone who doesn’t listen. It’s a balancing act and exactly where developing active listening skills plays a vital roll in the productive outcome of your team.You’re Not Sure What You’re Trying To Say

2. You’re Not Sure What You’re Trying To Say

Spontaneity and originality are often valuable tools in business, but sticking to the topic explanation is very helpful to the listeners

Know what your going to say and have at least a frame work in your mind about how you’ll present it. Time is valuable to everyone in your creative group, don’t waste their time.

3. It’s Not Relevant

4.They’re Not In The Right Mindset

5. You’re Turning Into A Gossip

It’s easy to tumble head first into the gossip/comparison trap. At times we use gossip or comparison to get out listeners to like us, regardless of topic.

Talk To Me, While I’m listening

Nanci Griffith Flyer Album

5 Things you can do To encourage listening