Failing to listen well is rude. I don't care whether you're talking to the Queen of England or your intern. It very loudly communicates, Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. And as a master relationship builder, it's your job to care.
Ready to assess how well you listen? My colleague Dr. Mark Goulston has four categories for how we listen, the Four R's: removed, reactive, responsible, and receptive listening.
Here's the breakdown:
1. Removed listening is just what it sounds like: removed. It's the kind of listening you do when you're actually engaged in something else, like using your BlackBerry. You may parrot back what I've said, but you aren't really paying attention. You're mind is elsewhere and you risk letting me feel like I'm being ignored or like what I say doesn't mean anything to you. It's a lot like talking over someone else's words in a conversation--but in this case you're "listening over" my words.
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