Back to Basics: Seven Types of Listeners and Tips for Better Listening Skills

Here is a great article on the types of listeners, courtesy of Dale Carnegie.

Exceptional listening skills and the ability to persuade others to your way of thinking make the difference between good and great teams. Pure listening builds trust, credibility, and respect. One reason is that when you fully listen instead of trying to compose your response, the result is a relevant and on-target response. What you say when you do respond is proof of how well you listen.

The “Preoccupieds”

These people come across as rushed and are constantly looking around or doing something else. Also known as multitaskers, these people cannot sit still and listen.

Tips

If you are a “Preoccupied” listener, make a point to set aside what you are doing when someone is speaking to you.

If you are speaking to a “Preoccupied” listener, you might ask, “Is this a good time?” or say, “I need your undivided attention for just a moment.” Begin with a statement that will get their attention, be brief, and get to the bottom line quickly because their attention span is short.

The “Out-to-Lunchers”

These people are ready to chime in at any given time. They are perched and ready for a break to complete your sentence for you. They are not listening to you. They are focused on trying to guess what you will say and what they want to say.

Tips

If you are an “Out-to-Luncher,” act like a good listener. Be alert, maintain eye contact, lean forward, and show interest by asking questions.

If you are speaking to an “Out-to-Luncher,” check in with them every now and again and ask if they understood what you were saying. As with the “Preoccupieds,” begin with a statement that will catch their attention and be concise and to the point, because their attention span is also short.

The “Interrupters”

These people remain aloof and show little emotion when listening. They do not seem to care about anything you have to say.

Tips

If you are an “Interrupter,” make a point to apologize every time you catch yourself interrupting. This will make you more conscious of it.

If you are speaking to an “Interrupter,” when they chime in, stop immediately and let them talk, or they will never listen to you. When they are done, you might say, “As I was saying before…” to bring their interruption to their attention.

The “Whatevers”

These people remain aloof and show little emotion when listening. They do not seem to care about anything you have to say

Tips

If you are a “Whatever,” concentrate on the full message, not just the verbal message. Make a point to listen with your eyes, ears, and heart. Pay attention to body language and try to understand why this person wants to talk to you about this issue.

If you are speaking to a “Whatever,” dramatize your ideas and ask your listener questions to maintain their involvement.

The “Combatives”

These people are armed and ready for war. They enjoy disagreeing and blaming others.

Tips

If you are a “Combative,” make an effort to put yourself in the speaker’s shoes and understand, accept, and find merit in another’s point of view.

If you are speaking to a “Combative,” when he or she disagrees or points the blame, look forward instead of back. Talk about how you might agree to disagree or about what can be done differently next time.

The “Analysts”

These people are constantly in the role of counselor or therapist, and they are ready to provide you with unsolicited answers. They think they are great listeners and love to help. They are constantly in an analyze-what-you-are-saying-and-fix-it mode.

Tips

If you are an “Analyst,” relax and understand that not everyone is looking for an answer, solution, or advice. Some people just like bouncing ideas off other people because it helps them see the answers more clearly themselves.

If you are speaking to an “Analyst,” you might begin by saying, “I just need to run something by you. I’m not looking for any advice.”

The “Engagers

These are the consciously aware listeners. They listen with their eyes, ears, and hearts and try to put themselves in the speaker’s shoes. This is listening at the highest level. Their listening skills encourage you to continue talking and give you the opportunity to discover your own solutions and let your ideas unfold.

Tips

If you are an “Engager,” keep it up. People truly appreciate this about you.

If you are speaking to an “Engager,” take the time to acknowledge their attentiveness. Thank them for their interest in you and your topic.

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LIFE EDGE Series

Here is a great post from Orrin Woodward on the Edge Series.  This is something I truly believe can help children and young adults for generations to come.  Book smarts and good grades are important but LIFE skills are equally important.  As i mentioned in earlier posts, I wish I knew some of this stuff as a child! 

Chris Brady did it again. For months, he kept a torrent pace of emails, phone calls, and in-person meetings to influence me on the importance of LIFE skills training for youth. The results of his efforts have blown us all away. The Edge Series alone is surging past 6,000 subscribers! In fact, many of the kids are earning the money and paying for their own subscription. How do I know this? Because anyone 12 years old or above can attend a LIFE event, and the amount of adolescent boys and girls attending seminars has increased dramatically. When I speak across the USA and Canada, I routinely have multiple boys and girls, dressed in business attire, tell me their story as they ask me to sign a book or their Edge Subscription.

Leadership and life skills are crucial in a person’s life. Why wait until after the school years to realize this? Why not give your kids an EDGE? The first EDGE is parents who model the right behaviors, and the second is the Edge Series delivered directly to the home of hungry kids wanting to learn the principles of success. Packed full of stories from the successful men and women in the LIFE business, along with exclusive interviews with top names in athletics and business, the Edge Series has become one of the favorite products in LIFE. What the Mental Fitness Challenge is to adults, the Edge Series is for youth. A huge thank you goes to Chris Brady and all of the speakers who have made the Edge Series what it is. Below is a video that describes the Edge Series.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Three factors that set the course for success in LIFE

I picked out one of the many books in my library to read while on my overnight trip in Cancun, Mexico and came across a favorite of mine called, ” Leaders without borders“, by Doug Nickerson.

 This book is only a 100 pages long but it packs some powerful, thought-provoking teaching and ideas that can have a positive influence on you.  I’ve heard Co Founder of LIFE and best-selling author  Orrin Woodward say that “ideas have consequences”, so I wanted to share three “factors” from the book to help set the course for success in LIFE and in your leadership journey.

#1 The factor of a positive response You are in command of your response. Henry Van Dyke said, ” There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament.”  As a leader, you set the tone not only for yourself  but for your organization by the way you react to the things that happen to you.

A positive response is not a willful denial of the reality that exists.  Your response, however, reflects the realization that whatever happened is only a snapshot of one moment in the larger picture of your destiny.  When you choose not to be defined by one negative moment, but rather re-define it for good, you have chosen a positive response.

#2 The factor of a positive attitudeI like Herm Albright’s  lighthearted observation: ” A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort”  A positive attitude in the midst of negative circumstances is exactly the right prescription to turn things around.

While certainly no one can deny that Thomas Edison was a man of accomplishment, he also suffered great setbacks.  Yet Edison said, ” I never did a day’s work in all my life, it was all fun.”  What a great attitude. The right attitude propelled him to unimaginable accomplishment, and it can do the same for you.

#3 The factor of positive perseverance- When you choose a positive response to negative circumstances, you begin to experience exponential growth as a leader.  Your reactions, positive or negative, set in motion the laws of reciprocity.  The choices you make have  a great impact.

Emerson said, ” That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has become easier”. Your reaction as a leader is charting a course for your future, so choose it wisely.

Some last thoughts. When it comes to your life and your business, what does your face say about you? Are you an optimist or a pessimist? A strong leader is one who does not shy away from reality , but looks through the lens of optimism when faced with challenges.

An optimistic leader confronts his fears

An optimistic leader gives others confidence

An optimistic leader looks for the good in all situations

An optimistic leader will certainly have moments of being tested

Doug Nickerson says,  “the next time things go haywire,  just remember that you are not alone. When times are tough and adversity strikes, let your confident words be,” I believe this is going to be our finest hour.”

Optimism does not prevent difficulties or make you immune from them.  Optimism, however, empowers you to face difficulties with a confidence that gives you an advantage to overcome them.

Robert L Stevenson said, ” You cannot run away from weakness; you must sometime fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where do you stand? Now is the time to rise up with courage and be the optimistic leader you were destined to be.

This great book is an example of not only great teaching on the key principles of success but a great reminder of the factors we once knew but don’t apply on a regular basis.  Listening to one CD or attending one meeting does not build habits.  It takes little bits of information, energy, effort and application over time, to experience full results.  We cannot change our destination overnight, but we can change our direction.  The journey is certainly worth the destination.

Plugging into leadership training  and personal development material from LIFE over the last 5 years, has been one of the best things I have ever done, not only for me and my family, but for many others looking to Live the Life they’ve always wanted.

Lead on and may the wind be at your back.

Ben