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10 keys to effective listening

These keys are a positive guideline to better listening. In fact, they're at the heart of developing better listening habits that could last a lifetime.


  10 Keys to Effective Listening The Bad Listener The Good Listener
1. Find areas of interest Tunes out dry subjects Opportunitizes; asks "what's in it for me?"
2. Judge content, not delivery Tunes out if delivery is poor Judges content, skips over delivery errors
3. Hold your fire Tends to enter into argument Doesn't judge until comprehension complete
4. Listen for ideas Listens for facts Listens for central themes
5. Be flexible Takes intensive notes using only one system Takes fewer notes. Uses 4-5 different systems, depending on speaker
6. Work at listening Shows no energy output. Fakes attention. Works hard, exhibits active body state
7. Resist distractions Is easily distracted Fights or avoids distractions, tolerates bad habits, knows how to concentrate
8. Exercise your mind Resists difficult expository material; seeks light, recreational material Uses heavier material as exercise for the mind
9. Keep your mind open Reacts to emotional words Interprets color words; does not get hung upon them
10. Capitalize on fact thought is faster than speech Tends to daydream with slow speakers Challenges, anticipates, mentally summarizes, weighs the evidence, listens between the lines to tone of voice


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