Blocks to Listening
There are 12 commonly known blocks to listening:
Comparing makes it hard to listen because you are too busy trying to compare one person with another.
2. Mind Reading
Instead of paying attention to what is said, you try to figure out what the other person is really thinking and feeling in an effort to see through to the truth.
You do not have time to listen or pay attention to listening when you are rehearsing what to say. Your whole attention is on the preparation and crafting of your next comment.
When you filter, you listen to some things and not to others. You hear what you want to hear, and avoid what you don’t want to hear and let your mind wander.
5. Judging (prejudging)
If you prejudge someone or label someone negatively, you do not pay much attention to what they say.
You are half-listening, and something the person says suddenly triggers a chain of private associations. You are more prone to dreaming when you feel bored or anxious.
You take everything a person tells you and refer it back to your own experience. Everything you hear reminds you of something that you have felt, done, or suffered. You launch into your story before they can finish theirs.
You are the great problem-solver, ready with help and suggestions. You do not have to hear more than a few sentences before you begin searching for the right advice.
Your focus is on finding things to disagree with. The way to avoid sparring is to repeat back and acknowledge what you have heard. Look for one thing you might agree with.
One subtype of sparring is the put-down. You use sarcastic remarks to dismiss the other person’s point of view. A second type of sparring is discounting. Discounting is for people who cannot stand compliments.
10. Being Right
You will go to any lengths to avoid being wrong. You cannot listen to criticism, you cannot be corrected, and you cannot take suggestions to change.
You change the subject suddenly. You derail the train of conversation when you get bored or uncomfortable with a topic.
You want to be nice, pleasant, and supportive. You want people to like you – so you agree with everything. You half-listen, but you are not really involved.