Unleash the Power of Listening

A vital skill in becoming an effective communicator is the ability to listen. Listening skills are not taught in school, and sadly are largely undeveloped skill in many people. To listen effectively is a powerful skill that can be learnt and practiced. You will gain more respect and esteem through listening rather than through talking

It’s funny how sometimes you associate a certain phrase with someone. I knew someone called Ray and what I remember about him the most was when he was listening to someone talk he would keep saying “I hear you” I would wonder whether he was saying that because he heard, but disagreed with what the person was saying, or if it was a noncommittal filler

There is however a great difference between hearing and listening. Hearing refers to the physical dimension of the sound waves striking the ear and the brain processing them into meaningful information. Listening, however, involves far more than the hearing process. It incorporates paying attention and focusing with the intention of understanding and responding appropriately.

The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and to be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them. Not only that but when people feel that you have really listened to them, you will gain their respect and they will value and give you the credibility to speak.

Consider how you feel when you sense someone is really listening to what you have to say.
You feel good, you feel understood, and more connected to the person who is listening. The fact that they are interested causes you to feel cared for.

One important element of listening is the ability to attend.
Attending is the process where we focus in on a message and filter out others that are distracting. It is to be able to focus on what the person is saying, and filter out all the other things that may be happening at the same time.

Someone once said (his name was anonymous) that the reason history repeats itself is because no one was listening the first time. When I first heard that, I realized history always repeating in my house especially around bedtime! That is the time when my kids practice attending. They focus on what they are doing (and it’s not homework) and filter me out as a distraction each time I remind them that it’s bedtime!

One of the biggest distractions to attending is our desire to talk
The desire to talk is so strong that while the other person is talking we can be thinking about what we are going to say next, and waiting for an opportunity to speak. As we focus on what we are going to say or interject, our attention goes from what the person is saying to our own thoughts. Although appearing to be interested and attentive, we can easily be distracted by our thoughts or something else that may be happening at the same time. At that point perhaps we do fall into merely hearing and not listening. Our mind’s attention has drifted onto other things and is no longer intent on understanding and responding.

True listening is a skill which needs to be learnt and practiced because the mind functions seven times more quickly than it is possible to speak. Therefore the mind needs to be slowed down and focused on what the person is saying, and not pay attention to other irrelevant thoughts or distractions.

One of my all time favourite books is “The Success Principles” written by Jack Canfield.
One of the Principles he writes about in the book is how to use the power of listening as a way of building rapport and connecting with people. Jack created a series of four questions that he uses in personal and business situations. He asks the questions one after another. The first time he tried it was with his sister Kim. He asked the first question and listened to her response. When she had finished he asked the next question, and continued in this manner through all the questions.
Afterwards Kim smiled said to him “That’s the best conversation I think we’ve ever had. I feel so clear and focused. I know exactly what I need to go and do now. Thank you” He was amazed as he hadn’t said a word except to ask the four questions, and had resisted the inclination to jump in with his own responses. He has found this works everytime and uses the questions frequently.

I have used this strategy, but by using my own questions and have been amazed at the results. Not only have the questions given me a greater understanding of the person, but through the fact of actively listening to people without commenting or putting my 2 cents worth in they have experienced encouragement and a sense of connectedness. I now make sure that I ask questions and listen more than I speak.

I want you to take a moment now to think of a question that you could use to practice actively listening, and resist the impulse to speak. When you have the opportunity, use your question or questions and experience the power of building rapport with others through the power of listening.

5 Ways to Overcome your Shyness

Shyness is something that all of us are facing or have faced in our life. There are many public figures, who have gone through this situation but they have learned to manage it as well. Justin Timberlake, the great singer-songwriter, actor and record producer used to be a shy kid. He once said, “My mom likes to joke that until I was eight or nine I only knew what my sneakers looked like because I constantly walked around with my head down.” And look at him now, he is rocking the entire Hollywood with his electrifying performances. So, When Justin can do it, Why can’t you? To help you out, this blog contains simple tips that you can follow to overcome your shyness. Read on to find out.

1. Dress well

Yes, the dressing is the first thing that everyone notices. Dress well so that you look confident. It feels good when somebody compliments on us. The more you receive compliments, the more you start feeling confident. Don’t spare even the smallest attire. Concentrate on your underwear as well. There are a lot of men’s underwear styles in the industry. Try G-strings for men, that come in skimpy cuts. Imagine your girlfriend getting so impressed with your attire style that she drags you straightaway to the bedroom. She’ll get more excited about seeing you in a skimpy article as such. So, to get such excitements throughout the day, you need to dress well first.

2. Join a gym

Join a gym and start building your physique. The more you concentrate on yourself and your looks, the more confident and ravishing you look. Bodybuilding is the best medicine for depression, shyness or mental stress. Sweat out to bring the best of your machismo.

3. Talk a lot

You can question me here ” I’m already shy, why would I voluntarily talk to someone.”

Yes, I’m aware of that, but I’m asking you to start practicing by giving speeches, presentations or telling jokes and stories to people who are close to you. They can be your parents, your friends, or maybe your partner. Express what you did throughout the day to your parents. By doing so, gradually you get used to talking.

4. Always take the first step

This means engaging in small talks at every possible situation that you go throughout the day. Talk to strangers at bars, stores, sporting events, and the gym. Additionally, you can also approach the individuals if you are attracted romantically. Ask them out to dates as well. Life is short. Who cares if you get rejected? There are seven billion people on this planet. You’re not expected to liked by all of them. So don’t stay back, instead keep a step forward.

5. Keep a good Eye-contact

A data analysis by Quantified Impressions, a communication-analytics company based in Austin, Texas, proved that to make an emotional connection, the ideal amount of eye contact should be between 60% to 70%. Hence, try making an eye contact with the person you are talking to. They get an impression that you are listening to the conversation. Or else, your shyness can give them a feeling that you are not a good listener.

Above are some of the tips that you can follow to overcome the problem of being shy. Try them and do let us know your comments in the section below.

How To Still Make 2017 Your Standout Year

I think a lot about making this year better than the last.

But lately, something’s hit me. What about making the year better than – the next one, and the one after that, and so on? After all, if all we ever do is base our improvement on what’s already happened, then we’re severely limiting our perspective.

This year could be the year that changes your life forever. It could galvanize who you are in a way no other time has or will – in your lifetime.

Yet, none of that will happen if your perspective is based solely on improving on what you’ve already accomplished.

By comparing your year to what it was last year, it’s easy to make small changes. Instead of creating a revolution in the way you lead your life, you’re only likely to create a mere evolution.

–        Go to the gym a little more frequently
–        Pitch more clients and apply for more jobs to improve your salary
–        Spend more days out with your family

“If this was the best year of my life, what would have to happen?” ~ Brian Tracy.

Whatever the case may be, even if you decide to step things up by a huge amount, because you’re only using last year as your template for what this year could be, you’ll likely only improve by 5-50%.

But if you look beyond what you’ve already accomplished, you’ll be in a much more empowered position to reach your full potential.

Last year, for instance, I only wrote eleven articles on self-improvement. If i try to build on that, then I might only try to double that at most this year. But if I drop the model of linear growth, I can force myself to jump into a position that allows me to take a ‘quantum leap’.

Under this model, if I consider that I may be 10x as prolific in three years, there’s nothing stopping me from attempting it this year. And even if I don’t reach it, I’ll be better off by the end because I would have attempted to do more than I otherwise would have.

Introduce New Technologies into your Life

Archimedes once said: “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”

With the aid of technology, you can make your goals easier to achieve. Whether it’s with a new laptop that allows you to accomplish your work faster, or something as simple as listening to the right music for your productivity.

The more you can introduce levers in your life, the easier building momentum will be.

You don’t always need to work harder to get more of what you want. Instead, consider and purchase the right physical and digital technologies -so that you move towards where you want to go, more easily.

Summary

Making progress based on what you’ve experienced last year is a step in the right direction. But looking at the past keeps you tunneled in. Looking into the future makes you think outside the box and act on outlandish possibilities.

Getting to where you want to go this year doesn’t have to be hard. Start comparing your present to your vision of the future – and make the necessary adjustments.

My Last Words

If you’re a creative and interested in learning how to upgrade the way you live your week, read my free guide on Spiritual Productivity.

  • You’ll learn about how to split up your day into four chunks, so you worry less about external influences.
  • You’ll discover the small hacks that will take your creative work on your PC to the next level. And much more…

 Samy Felice is a writer who is passionate about unique ideas related to living a meaningful life. His Free Guide explores ways people can make success easier.

POSTED  BY SAMY FELICE

Optimism Aids Success

In life, you are forever full of choices. You may choose to have a pessimist’s view and live a self-defeated life or you may choose to take the optimist’s route and have a challenging and fulfilling life.

Optimists expect the greatest. They tend to think defeat is just a fleeting delay, that its causes are confined to this one case.

Optimists tend to center on and plan for the ‘difficulty’ at hand. In other words, they most likely reinterpret an off-putting experience in a way that helps them discover and mature. Such people are unfazed by a bad situation, they perceive it as a challenge and try harder.

Bright expectancies of optimists also forecast better reactions during transitions to new environments, unexpected tragedies and unlikely turn of events. If they fall, they will stand up. They see opportunities instead of obstacles.

People react positively to optimists. Optimists are upbeat and less dependent on others for their happiness. They find no need to control or influence people. They usually draw people towards them. Their optimistic view of the world can be catching and influence those they are with.

Optimism seems a socially desirable trait in all communities. Those who share optimism are generally accepted while those who spread gloom, panic and hysteria are treated unfavorably.

When the going gets tough, optimists get tougher. Pessimists are more likely to quit trying when difficulties arise. Optimists typically maintain higher levels of subjective well being during times of stress than do people who are less optimistic
They persevere. They just don’t give up easily, they are also known for their patience. Inching their way a step closer to that goal or elusive dream.

Optimists are healthier and live longer. Medical research has justified that simple pleasures and a positive attitude can cause a considerable boost in the body’s ability to fight disease.