Are you a good listener? Read each sentence. Write the word ALWAYS, SOMETIMES or NEVER in the blank to identify how the sentence describes your listening behavior.
How many items did you mark as ALWAYS _____ SOMETIMES _______ NEVER _______
|A.||__________||While someone is talking, I try to hear other conversations around me to keep up with what’s going on.|
|B.||__________||I prefer that someone just present the facts and skip the opinions so I can draw my own conclusions|
|C.||__________||I prepare my response while the other person is talking.|
|D.||__________||As someone is speaking to me, I avoid eye contact. I’m not particularly interested in non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and body language.|
|E.||__________||If I hear something I think is wrong, I’ll interrupt immediately to explain why I disagree.|
|F.||__________||When I find myself not listening to someone, I will pretend to pay attention to what he or she is saying.|
|G.||__________||I start to judge the merit of what someone says from the very first sentence.|
|H.||__________||I prefer to communicate through email or text so that I don’t have to deal with idle chit chat.|
|I.||__________||I anticipate what people will say next as they are speaking.|
|J.||__________||I show my reactions on my face to what people are saying to let them know right away whether or not I agree.|
|K.||__________||I am ready immediately with a response when someone has stopped talking.|
|L.||__________||A person’s appearance is important to me in deciding whether or not to listen attentively to what that individual says.|
|M.||__________||If I’m not sure what someone means, I will ask for clarification before he or she has continued talking much longer.|
|N.||__________||A speaker needs to present the information in a lively and entertaining way to keep my interest.|
|O.||__________||I have biases and opinions which affect my ability or willingness to listen to what some people have to say.|
- Take a minute to go through the statements above. Choose three statements from the list that you think are your greatest opportunities for improvement.
- Write them down on a Post-It note in a place where you will see it every day.
- Make a conscious effort to practice those three areas of growth for the week.
- Journal for 15 minutes at the end of the week on what you experienced. It’s okay if you didn’t always do great. This is the first step in building a new neural pathway toward becoming a great listener.