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MLM Magazine January 2015 January 2015

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Article Subtitle
Listening "requires" the listener to yield to the moment as a whole authentic person... and what does that mean?

Article Article Intro
There is a distinction between listening and hearing. The Webster definition hearing is to perceive or apprehend by the ear; to gain information by hearing. I have met numerous talented people who claim "to listen" while they are doing other things; texting balancing checkbooks talking on the phone writing a report due in the next few minutes... and are able to repeat verbatim what you just said. And you know what they take great pride in referring to themselves as "good/great listeners". So what's my point? These individuals are hearing. We think much faster than we speak. Most people speak at the rate of 125 wpm... and... have the mental ability to understand someone speaking at 400 wpm.

Article Content

Now here's the catch most people use 25 percent of their mental ability and "make up" the other 75 percent of what the speaker is saying and/or what the speaker's message means.

What does this type (75%) of "listening" do to relationships? It causes mostly "mischief" (M.S.U.sm = making stuff up) miscommunication drama grudges prejudice and challenges in cooperation team building personal professional and financial success.

What is the core component in communication that is most appreciated in relationship? Listening.

How many times have you heard the statement "the one thing I appreciated the most about him/her during our conversation was that they listened." That statement is generally made from the experience that the speaker had that his/her thoughts feelings and intentions were understood and accepted from their point of view. Let's be clear. I don't mean that understanding and accepting means I agree. Not by any means. It does mean however that as a listener being open flexible and receptive to someone else's reality is the opportunity to form powerful productive mutually fulfilling relationships professionally financially and personally. Listening "requires" the listener to yield to the moment as a whole authentic person... and what does that mean? It means the listener commits him/herself to the conversation going on NOW. It (listening) "requires" the listener to focus on what the speaker is saying without judgment opinion or being superficially cooperative. This type of listening is supported by a law in physics which states "no two things can occupy the same space at the same time." I have challenged hundreds of people to "focus" on two things AT THE SAME TIME. Illusionist need not apply. Do it and let me know how it works out. Studies stress the importance of listening. A typical study points out that many of us spend 70 to 80 percent of our waking hours in some form of communication. Of that time 9 percent is writing 16 percent is reading 30 percent is speaking and 45 percent is listening. Studies also confirm that most of us are poor and ineffective listeners. (Lee and Hatesohl-Univ. Of Missouri- 2009). If we don't learn how to effectively listen over time we will become at the effect of our own frustrations panic illnesses depression and rage thus shortening our lifespan significantly. Through listening we can learn to reduce the speed of our thinking and insert a reliable gauge in our mind.

Listening is an effective and powerful skill that dramatically slows down and clears the mind of both the speaker and listener. Focused listening allows thoughts to travel slowly leisurely efficiently and patiently.

When we don't focus on the speaker we are quickly distracted by other thoughts. Here's an exercise to practice developing masterful listening. 1) Listen to the speaker for something that rings true for you that you learned and/or that was of value. 2) Give feedback to the speaker using this statement: "Thank you (person's name). I appreciate what you said about (the truth what you learned and/or what was of value to you). What that means to me is (let the speaker know what YOU did with the information that was significant to you)" Example: "Thank you Joyce. I appreciate what you said about the challenges in listening. What that means to me is that I noticed you used the word "challenge" instead of the word "hard". When I use the word "hard" I don't make as much of an effort. When I use the word "challenge" I take "it" on whatever the "it" is. Thank you! I had not been aware of that before."

What you may discover is that when you listen for truth value and possibility you're available to universal awareness which is beyond opining criticism judgment or being superficially cooperative with distractions.

© Copyright 2012. The Institute for Global Listening and Communication. All Rights Reserved.
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