Are You Listening? It’s a Core Skill.
Listening a core skill. Do you listen to people? More importantly, do you really hear what they are saying?
My experience says that most people are not really listening to what is being said without some type of filter system. Yes, a filter system is what I said. There are four types of filter systems being used by individuals as part of their natural behavioral style.
The four filtering systems are:
- The Agenda System filter – This person has selective listening skills. They are looking for things that support their personal agenda or knowledge. Other information is ignored or questioned by this person – usually using leading questions to arrive at the conclusion they wanted in the first place. Very problematic in an environment needed high trust to get things done effectively.
- The Non-Listener filter – This person is thinking about how they could say it better, or what the next thing to talk about is or they’re just day dreaming about other things thereby not hearing anything being said in the moment. This are the same people who ask a question that others have just discussed – usually in detail – making this filtering person look pretty bad to others. Inattention to others thoughts and comments is common with this type of individual.
- The No-Comment filter – This person actually hears everything and I mean everything being said by others. However, since they devalue their own worth, they do not response to the other people with new questions or expressions. Therefore, others do not believe they were listening to what was said – which is a bad assumption – since they actually are very good listeners. They just don’t respond very well during meetings or critical discussions. Lacking in the self value department causes an ineffective communication process.
- The Judgment Filter – This person is listening with a critical hear. Looking for mistakes or inaccuracies impacts this individual in an unusual way. They begin to discount other information points when they detect a mistake, issue or inaccuracy. When this occurs, their filter system controls their actions and responses. Usually casting out blame or focusing upon the errors rather than the intent of the message or for that matter – the good information points provided.
The key is to recognize that listening is one of the most important skills in personal leadership. The ability to allow others to participate and share – to contribute is critically important to having an effective group or organization. There is an old saying that is probably more important today than in the past:
“You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in the same proportions!”
If you really don’t know which of the above four filter systems you are currently using, then you want to get a personal assessment to learn about your style. This will open your eyes AND EARS to the importance of listening. Contact us to get your personal assessment and learn about your natural strengths and weaknesses. Call us at 901-757-4434.
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