Previously, I had discussed Julian Treasure’s Ted.com video: five ways to listen better, and how to use this information to engage your audience.
He also gives five great exercises you can do everyday to improve your listening. Here are the five so you can use them yourself:
- Silence – He recommends taking three minutes of silence each day. It resets your listening. Find a quiet spot where you won’t be interrupted. Try to focus and let yourself relax. You may start to notice your focus on listening start to sharpen.
- The Mixer – Even in a noisy place, listen for specific sounds. Sit on a bench in a park or at a table in a food court. Look around first to pinpoint what sounds you want to hear, then narrow your focus. See what you can pick up.
- Savouring – Hear the rhythm and uniqueness of each sound. Sound has beauty – even mundane ones. Treasure calls it the “Hidden Choir.”
- Change listening positions – From active to passive and passive to active. From reductive to expansive and expansive to reductive. From critical to empathetic and empathetic to critical. Changing your viewpoints and perspectives on how you internalize those sounds, could help you pick up on another level of understanding them.
- RASA – Receive – Appreciate – Summarize – Ask. This will help you conclude what you’ve just heard, and this tip in particular is very handy for presentations.
Listening will serve you well. Good luck!