A while ago I wrote about one of the myths of communication–the myth that we can control what comes out of our mouths. At the time, I mentioned that there are others. Today I want to share another with you.
I’m sure you’ve heard of active listening. You may have even attended a course where you
learnt active listening skills. The myth is that all you need to be a good listener is to be able to use the active listening skills well.
The thing is, whilst the active listening skills are very important, they are not the only skills that make a good listener.
According to hostage negotiator Richard Mullender, active listening skills ‘are just not what they “say on the box”. In fact, Active Listening Skills teach you to keep the other person talking. This is exceptionally important if you want to understand the other person and where they’re coming from. When you get them talking, and keep them talking, their subconscious takes control and they are no longer thinking consciously about what they are saying. They tell you more than they mean to.
It’s simple. To find out what someone is really thinking, all you have to do is be quiet, keep them talking and listen carefully to what they are actually telling you. If only it were that easy. To be fair, it is that easy to listen. It’s just that most of us aren’t very good at being quiet and, even worse, we don’t know what to listen for.’
Richard continues, ‘As a hostage negotiator and trainer I have found the one constant is that rarely do people really listen. And on those occasions when they are listening, they don’t know what to listen for and, therefore, miss a lot of what is truly being said.’
For more information on how to listen and what to listen for, I suggest you get hold of Richard’s ebook Communication Secrets of a Hostage Negotiator. It’s available through Amazon as a Kindle ebook. It’s definitely worth a read.