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Are You A Loud Listener?

Updated: May 14




Be a loud listener! A friend once remarked, "Wow. You really pay attention. I am not used to that. I don't usually listen to everything a person says.


"We typically speak at the rate of about 120-150 words a minute, which is not enough data to fully occupy the brain of the person being spoken to, especially if said person is socially or otherwise anxious. 


Research shows that often we don't know what is going on in another person's mind. So, asking the sorts of questions that will allow a person to reveal their true selves is the key.


The worst kind of questions evaluate, with the implication that you will be judged: Where did you go to college? What do you do? Were you close with X person who just died? Did you win? But were you there when Y happened?


The best questions give the responder the freedom to go as deep or as shallow as they want: How is your mother? What is the best way to grow old? What was that like for you? Can you be yourself where you are and still fit in? What do you think? How did you adapt to that big change? What are you learning about in your life?


So take a moment and consider: are you asking questions out of a need to evaluate and judge? do you want the other person to open up? Are your questions closed or open ended? Are you listening with your eyes, 100% engaged? Do you 'fake listen' waiting for the other person to take a breath so you can jump in with your own experience, hijacking the conversation?


If you have a hard time listening, try SLANT:


Sit up

Lean forward

Ask questions

Nod your head

Track the speaker. 


Listen loudly.



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