Food for Thought "If you have the right people, with good, basic values and good work ethic, you can have a tremendous journey."

Buy Now
Food for Thought 2 "The follow-up in my Food for Thought series, with more focus on my experiences with Six Sigma and Kaizen."

Buy Now: Paper Back
Buy Now: E-Book

February 13, 2013

6 Levels of Listening

Filed under: Food for thought for friends,Sales — Alec @ 12:16 pm

Have you ever noticed that the people you perceive as great listeners either agree with you or are open-minded to new ideas? Or the opposite can happen, the people you perceive as poor listeners are really just not agreeing with you or are very opinionated. Makes you wonder who is responsible for the listening in a conversation? Makes you wonder if you can be perceived as a good listener simply by being open-minded? Maybe great listeners are just very good at asking enough open-ended questions to make you think you agree with them?

That brings me to my theory that there are 6 Levels of Listening.

Level One: Hearing the noise. For example, if someone is too far away and they can’t hear the words then they probably aren’t listening. We must be close enough to hear the sounds.

Level Two: Understanding the words. If someone is speaking in Spanish and you don’t understand, it will be hard to listen well (darn near impossible). If suffer from hearing loss, a noisy room will make it hard to hear or understand.

Level Three: Do you agree or disagree? You heard the words and you understood, but did you agree with what was said? This is key. If you agree, you will most likely be perceived as a good listener. And if you disagree, your listening skills will be judged on how you communicate your disagreement.

Level Four: Remembering. Do you remember what someone said to you? I might listen to a sermon on Sunday, like it and agree with it, but forget what was said by Monday morning.

Level Five: Action. If you have done Levels 1 – 4 but do not take action, is that considered good listening or not? If you take action, the other people involved in the conversation know that actions were completed. There is a high probability of being perceived as a good listener when action is taken.

Level Six: Priority. Maybe you have other priorities that are interfering. You heard, understood, agreed, remembered, and put it on my List of Things to Do. But instead of following all the way through, you worked on things of higher priority. This may be perceived as a poor listening.

Conclusion: It is imperative that each participant in the communication process fully understands these Levels of Listening and is mutually taking responsibility for each step.

Remember, a person who thinks you are a poor listener is probably very opinionated, disagrees with you or is a poor persuader. Keeping this in mind during your next communications might help you listen better!

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress