How To Listen Better

I just watched an awesome TED Talk by Julian Treasure on listening (video below), and why it is super important for our society. Take a few minutes out and watch it as well.

Listening is so important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet we’re really freakin bad at it. It doesn’t just apply to listening to your partner so that you don’t get in trouble. One of the major reasons so many businesses fail is that they fail to listen to their customer or audience.

Sometimes that means they just piss them off. Sometimes that means they build the entirely wrong product or service, and no one ends up wanting it. The end result in both cases is the same – a rubbish business.

Here’s a quick summary of the 5 ways Julian gives to improve your listening.

  1. Take 3 minutes every day to just sit in silence (or quiet if you can’t find silence)
  2. When you are in a noisy place, try to identify how many “channels” you are listening to, like a sound mixer
  3. In your mind, try to turn mundane sounds (e.g. train going past) into something way cooler than what it is. Pick out the various details in it.
  4. Move your listening position e.g. critical to empathetic, active to passive
  5. RASA – Recieve, Appreciate, Summarise, Ask. When listening to someone, receive the information, show appreciation for what they are saying, summarise it and ask questions.