It is difficult to really listen. We all have our own ‘antennas’ that filter out what we don’t expect or want to hear. Our brains are designed to look for patterns and match incoming messages with existing patterns; it is an efficient way to sort information. The problem is that so many of these patterns operate in our subconscious. Add to that a lifetime of layers of emotions and experiences that your body-mind translates into expectations, and it is no wonder that the art of authentic listening succumbs to default patterns.
The first step to being a proactive listener is to become conscious of what triggers your own default patterns of listening. The challenge: How do you do that without getting bogged down in an eternal process of self-scrutiny and analysis?
The Alpha Element proactive listening “boot camp” offers the following technique:
Identify which Vitality Type PROMPTS most resembles your default pattern. Hint: ask your friends and family if they agree and if their opinion does not jive with yours – keep talking – and listening. Mirror back what you hear each other say and explore which Vitality Type prompts your conversation partner’s default listening pattern. You will both learn to become better, proactive listeners!
Catalysts listen for POSSIBILITY hence this pattern is “wired” to IMAGINE
Torchbearers listen for ACTION hence this pattern is “wired” to IGNITE
Pathfinders listen for MEANING hence this pattern is “wired” to INVESTIGATE
Pragmatists listen for ACCURACY hence this pattern is “wired” to SCRUTINIZE
For more information and exploration take the Interpersonal Style Questionnaire