Better Listening for More Brainpower
Brainpower Contest Winner # 10
Here is the winning entry for the weekly brainpower contest:
(For rules and to see other winnimng entries, visit the page
Brainpower Tips Contest.)
Better listening is a great way to better
brainpower. This is especially true if you accept my definition
of brainpower as the ability to apply your thinking effectively
to real life, as opposed to just intelligence or potential. Most
people have something to teach us if we listen carefully.
However, listening carefully can be
difficult if we feel the need to express our opinions. This tends
to turn a conversation into a battle of opinions, rather than
a way to learn something new. Listen to such a conversation with
an open mind, and you'll probably hear several new ideas and
interesting facts from each side. The participants, however,
probably won't learn much. They are too busy defending their
Some of us tend to dominate a conversation.
This can be very nice for others if we are fonts of useful information.
But the person speaking is not in a position to learn many new
things, is he? This, then, is another bad habit to overcome if
we want to listen better and learn more.
Here, then, is a how you can train yourself
to be a better listener:
First, when you do speak up in a conversation,
don't bother to express your opinion. Mostly people don't care,
or they would ask for it. Instead, ask a question about something
the other person has said. This is a better way to listen and
to learn something new.
Second, to go get over the habit of
dominating a conversation, start purposely going silent. Notice
what percentage of the time you are speaking. Practice listening
to a conversation without saying too much. Ideally, listen while
two or three others talk. Try to say nothing unless it is a question,
or if you are asked a question.
Third, review what you hear. After listening
to someone, think of something new and interesting that you learned,
and perhaps some way in which you might use the information.
This tells your unconscious mind that listening for these new
and useful ideas is important, and so "programs" it
to do so more automatically.
A side benefit is that you will be more
popular. Many people are annoyed by those who talk too much,
but you never hear someone say, "He listens too much."
The real benefit, though, is that you will learn more and have
a more powerful mind.
Note: I have to thank myself for this one. I didn't
have any entries for the contest this week. I guess I better
do a better job promoting it. (Use the link below to see the
rules and what you win.)
In order to get the newsletter put together and have this
page up before that, I have to pick a winner just two or three
days after each newsletter. However, if you sent any ideas in
later, I may use them for the following weeks.
Click here to return to
the Brainpower Contest Page.