Tag Archives: listening skills

Do you love the sound of your kettle?

In my last post I wrote about how talking to non-experts can help with idea development. But it’s important to point out that the vital thing is not to talk to, but to listen to the non-experts.

Michael Michalko, in ThinkerToys, suggests some ways we can improve our listening skills, including:

  • judge content, not delivery
  • hold your fire (wait until you’ve heard everything)
  • be flexible (use different systems to remember the content)
  • resist distractions

Exploring the issues around listening, I watched this great TED talk by Julian Treasure:

He talks of how to listen more consciously and even enjoy the “background noises in our lives such as a kettle boiling”. He suggests that we can improve our listening by:

  1. Silence
  2. Listening to individual sounds in a mix of sounds
  3. Savouring mundane sounds
  4. Becoming conscious of how you are listening
  5. Receiving (pay attention), Appreciating (show attention), Summarising (so,…), Ask (questions afterwards)

So perhaps if we can improve our listening skills we won’t miss anymore amazing ideas just because our mind wandered or we were distracted by the radio.