Are you a good listener?

Do you know someone that you just love to talk to? That person always makes you feel good. It is likely that person is a good listener.

A good listener pays more attention to what is being said then to what to say back. Sounds simple, doesn't it? How many of the items listed below will you do when you are supposed to be listening?

Do you social network? When you enter a discussion are you really listening to what is being said? Are you employing any of these blocks below? Awareness opens the door to change.

  • Placating - you agree with everything the person says. You are not really listening but want to seem agreeable and polite.
  • Mind-reading - you think there might be a hidden agenda so do not focus too intently on what is being said but instead are trying to guess at what might "really" being going on.
  • Judging - you have made a decision about what the person is leading up to and already have a reaction before they have finished talking.
  • Comparison - you have stopped listening because you are thinking about your own experiences that are similar.
  • Filter - you think you know that the person is going to say so you only hear what supports your premise.
  • Being in the right - every point made has to be defended. You block out any real or imagined criticism in an effort to defend yourself.
  • Rehearsal - you are busy thinking about how you are going to respond rather then what the person is saying.
  • Diversion - you make a joke about the subject under discussion or suddenly change the subject.
  • Counseling - you only listen to scant information then quickly diagnose the problem and give your advice on how to fix it.
  • Wanderer - you appear to be listening but actually you are day dreaming and only paying partial attention to the speaker.
  • Arguing - you only hear enough to start an argument. You hear negatives and do not give substance to the information presented.
  • Centre of the universe - everything you hear relates to something in your own experience which you have to share immediately, even if the speaker has not finished talking.

How does this impact insurance? TurnersTips constantly recommends that you talk to your agent or broker about your specific policy. When you do sit down to talk how well do you listen to what is being said? If you are going to control your insurance you had better understand well the choices you are being given.

Which one of the above struck a familiar note? I'm working on improving my listening skills by improving my focus. How about you?