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Learn to resolve relationship conflict using NLP - anger management and personality type - NLP and Hypnotherapy, Gold Coast, Robina. Learn to be a better listener using the NLP communication model. What could you learn if you learned to quieten your mind and listen for a moment? Phone 07 5562 5718 or send Abby an email to book a free 20 minute telephone or Skype session.
By Abby Eagle (2019)
Click the Image to Watch on YouTube
I go to a monthly meetup with some friends to discuss Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules for life. I was asked to facilitate Rule 9: Assume that the Person You Are Listening to Might Know Something You Don’t.
So I get home – sit down to write a few notes – I mean like notes that you could fit on a small piece of paper – and lo and behold the creative aspect of my unconscious mind took over and I ended up writing this article
So in this article I am going to talk about some of the key elements to being a good listener. Listening is not that easy – it takes a lot of work which means you have to have some reason – a big reason why you should listen. If you are not motivated to listen then the odds are is that you will only hear what you want to hear.
Step 1. You can’t listen if you are busy talking to yourself in side of your mind. So step one should be learn how to quieten your internal dialogue. As a side bar to this talk I have a meditation package which shows you how to actually silence the internal dialogue. You don’t need to spend ten years sitting in a dark cave – it should only take you a couple of hours to learn how to do so.
Part of quieting the internal dialogue is putting aside the images that you hold in mind and the feelings that you have about a certain topic. Because if your mind is full of your own thoughts then it will be impossible for you to receive new information.
Step 2. To be a good listener you also need to be alert and in sensory awareness to whoever or whatever is delivering the information. So if you are listening to another person then you need to be present to that person and not playing with your mobile phone.
Step 3. There needs to be an openness and a willingness to receive and consider new information. I repeat an openness and a willingness to receive and consider new information.
Step 4. Which means you need to have a functional power zone (Michael Hall). That is you need to know what is you and what is the other. This is self and that is other. A power zone should give you a functional boundary such that you are able to keep the information out there. After considering the information and seeing how it relates to what you already know then you may choose to bring it in or not.
Step 5. Learn the NLP Meta Model. The acrostic is MLCCPUMNUS
Mind reads – lost performative – cause and effect – complex equivalence – presuppositions – universal quantifiers – modal operators – nominalisations – unspecified verbs – and simple deletions.
If you listen using the NLP Meta Model – even if you can’t actually speak to the person to get clarification – you will at least be left with a bunch of questions that need to be answered before you can draw a conclusion.
If you can question the speaker then you should be looking to fill in the gaps so to speak such that you can build a detailed picture in your mind that makes sense.
Step 6. Which takes us to representational systems. VAKOG. Each of us has a preferred rep system. So the person talking may be accessing their visual rep system and you may be listening to their tonality. So then you have a mismatch.
So to be a real good listener you need to have requisite variety. In systems theory as told by Richard Bandler - the part in a system that has the most flexibility will control the system. So to be a real good listener you may need to develop more flexibility in your use of rep systems – both external and internal.
You need to be able to focus in on the person’s body, their physiology, gestures, skin colour changes, muscle tension, breathing changes, eye movements, ideomotor signals and so on.
You also need to be able to focus in on what they are saying – the actual words used – the concepts, the values, the ideas - the level of abstraction - and then map out the structure and relationship between those things – past, present and future.
As well as listening to the words – the digital component there is an analogue component. The submodality distinctions of volume, tonality, tempo, inflections, accents, pauses, etc.
You also have to be able to feel out what the person is saying.
In terms of requisite variety you need to be able to track all three rep systems and shift your focus. If you practise looking at what you can see in sensory awareness – that is the physical body, the gestures, the breathing changes, the skin colour changes, the muscle tension, the eye movements and so on – and then in another session practise tuning into the words, the volume, tonality and tempo, accents, inflexions, pauses etc – and then in another session try to get a feeling for what the person is expressing then after a while what begins to happen is that your unconscious mind will present to your mind what is most relevant for you to track.
Okay so you learn to use all your representational systems to track the speaker and really listen to their message. In doing so you will have to put aside your judgements until later. And one last point here. Do you remember the experiment with the gorilla in the room? This was where a psychologist invited an audience to focus in on the activities of a group of people on stage.
The audience had to track the number of times that a ball was passed from one person to another. In the midst of this a man dressed as a gorilla walks across the stage and out the other side. The fascinating thing is that no one saw the gorilla because their full attention was on the ball. So when you listen – the more you focus in then the more you will miss. Now this is not a bad thing because sometimes we have to focus in and other times we need to be a bit more relaxed and open to what is in our peripheral awareness.
Step 7. And then of course there are NLP Meta Programs. Meta Programs are perceptual filters that filter perception and determine your preferences in how you think, feel and act. So when you listen is your attention on the other or yourself? Are you a narcissist – do you make everything about you? Are you a big picture person or do you prefer details? Is your attention on facts and logic or upon feelings? I tell you it takes a lot of work to be a good listener.
Step 8. And one of the most important steps to being a good listener is to get your ego out of the way. Osho used to talk about getting out of your own way. So do you have a need to be right or do you have what it takes to look at and consider information – for what it is – information and data – or are you looking for information that reinforces your current opinion – frame of mind – beliefs and attitude?
You will hear people talk about prejudice. My observation has been that sometimes the one claiming that another is prejudiced is them self prejudiced. So what is prejudice? It is making a pre-judgment based upon insufficient information. So if you think the other person is prejudiced perhaps they are – and then perhaps they know something that you don’t – so perhaps if you were to really listen you may learn something of value or not.
So my challenge to you is to practise your listening skills. Please leave your comments in the box below – and you are welcome to join the NLP Hypnotherapy Facebook group to continue the discussion. If you want to talk to me personally then use the contact form at top right of this page.
References: see the bibliography.