Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All – Vital Book

First Step to Getting a Diagnosis

  • Bernie asks you to consider his six archetypes of bad listeners to see which ones you use. Note that the first five tend to spend too much time talking and therefore don’t allow themselves to be receptive to information they don’t know.
  • 1. The Opinionator: Here you listen only to determine whether or not the speaker’s ideas conform to what you already know to be true. This is not listening with an open mind.
  • 2. The Grouch: Conversely, this type listens only because he knows the speaker’s ideas are wrong. The Grouch has contempt for others’ ideas.
  • 3. The Preambler: The television pundit embodies this category. Questions are often stealth speeches and are used to steer the conversation to produce the desired answer.
  • 4. The Perseverator: This person talks too much. The difference is that he doesn’t advance the conversation. Look for constant reiteration and thinking out loud.
  • 5. The Answer Man: This is the person who starts spouting solutions before there is even a consensus about the challenge. He is desperately eager to please, or to impress, and has to be the smartest person in the room.
  • 6. The Pretender: This person may appear to be actively listening, but is probably faking it. The person may appear to be listening to impress, may not be interested, or may have already made up his mind.
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