God gave us mouths that close, and ears that don’t. That must tell us something.

– Unknown

In today’s high speed, high tech and high stress world – communication is vital. Yet we seem to spend less time really listening to one another.

In fact we spend most of our lives running patterns, creating static, getting caught up in outdated memories, and generally adding to the noise levels.

And guess what? The more noise prevailing, the more we add to it by spinning our wheels even faster and creating distraction overload.

Maybe it’s time for a change of tactic?

Start to notice how people behave, how they seem as if they’re listening but actually they’re doing something else. You’ll soon see some patterns emerging.

Next time you‘re having a conversation, check out which of the 10 types you’re talking to:

The Personality Types

The Mind Readers

– they’re the ones projecting what they think you’re going to say next, so they can interrupt and finish your sentence off.

The Actors

– they’re rehearsing and getting ready to interrupt so they can hog the centre stage and get all the attention back on them.

The Sound Editors

– they screen out anything they don’t want to hear so they don’t have to listen to the real message. They prefer mood manipulation designed to captivate the audience.

The Producers

– they just want to give advice, take charge and prove they’re in control. CUT.

The Presenters

– they’ve been trained in the school of active listening. They lean forward, make eye contact, grunt, say ‘’ah-ah” and paraphrase every 30 seconds or so.

The Crowd

– aka “the zoo inmates”, they also could have been trained in the school of active listening, the only difference is they can’t be readily taught to paraphrase.

The Studio Boss

– they’re monitoring the competition, focusing on the next brilliant idea and the next great solution to get in motion before completing the task in hand. They’ve already left and moved on.

The Shape Shifters

– these are the ones who are preoccupied with past memories, they weren’t paying attention and drifted onto the wrong set and got cast in the Twighlight Zone instead of Downton Abbey.

The Movie Stars

– they pretend to be interested , asking lots of questions and so forth, but really it’s just a ploy to get all the attention right back where it belongs-with them.

The Heros

– they’re busy trying to figure out your every need so they can save you ultimately from yourself. In their world it’s a script after all in which improvisation plays no part. According to them you’re not supposed to be having your own experience and figuring it out for yourself. They are the Super Powers who know everything.

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move towards. When we are listened to it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.

– Dr Karl A Menninger

An actor‘s a guy who if you ain’t talking about him, ain’t listening.

– Marlon Brando

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

– Winston Churchill

Improve your Listening

Profound listening creates connection with others, one of the most common human needs is to understand and to be understood. Fully engaged listening cuts down on conflict, misunderstanding and creates more harmony. By becoming silent when another person is speaking you create the space for them to be as they are, and when you let them do that they become powerful.

Here are some simple tips to improve your listening skills:

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