In this new series we will give you ways to be more consciously human so that you stand out from the crowd. You are not born with the X factor you have to work hard to develop it. In part one we are looking at listening, being a good listener is an attractive quality and one that will be more and more sought after in an automated age, so get ahead of the game.

“To be interesting be interested” – Dale Carnegie

Don’t we all want to be described as interesting, and have people drawn to us because we are great people. We aren’t drawn to people that have a lot to say we are drawn to people that listen to what we say. It can be hard to be selfless and let go of your need to speak, putting your point of view across, but if you can you will find others more interesting they will be more interested in you.

The challenge is that listening actively is extremely hard work and takes a lot of focus. By nature we are easily distracted and we cannot multi task and listen its impossible, so to work at being in the moment and present even for a few minutes takes an immense amount of effort. Below are my 3 best top tips to improve your listening and if you practice them you will notice a real difference.

Possible benefits

  • Improved relationships in your private and working life
  • New relationships – people will be drawn to you
  • A sense of self worth – you will feel good about yourself
  • More peace and calmness – its almost a relief to let go of your need to speak about yourself
  • A deeper understanding of yourself and others

Its not an exaggeration to say the benefits above will make you happier and more successful in your life, so if take the following recommendations seriously, they will work as I have been training people in them for over 21 years with fantastic results.

  1. Commit – Let go physically, relax into it, sit back and let the tension around having to speak, debate or solve their problem go.
  2. Ask questions from a genuinely curious place, if you find yourself leading or asking questions to take things back to you then its not curious. Follow up on answers with more questions taking your lead from them. This is one of the best ways to stay focused and engaged.
  3. Reflect back your understanding emotionally for example “ I get a real sense that this was a very challenging and emotionally time for you” “It sounds like this trip has really changed the way your view life” This type of reflection helps you to really connect and the talker feels understood on a much deeper level

    On the surface they seem obvious and simple yet go to any coffee shop in the UK and you will find it hard to find anyone using them. Before you start to give them a go be very aware of peoples listening so you can be conscious again.

Being an active listener doesn’t mean you cant talk, discuss or make suggestions of course you can but your generosity to listen first will be respected and admired and you will be laying the foundation stones to having the X factor.

Look out for part two when we’ll look at how to perfect the art of story-telling.