"We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less." -- Diogenes
Listening is not a passive process.
You must be actively engaged in the process when someone is speaking – as engaged as the speaker. This means you must stop, focus, listen, filter distractions, process the information, and remember the information.
These skills do not come naturally for an individual with ADHD. However, there are some steps you can take to become a better listener.
The Purpose of Listening:
- Helps us Develop a Connection
- Puts the Spotlight on the Other Person
- Helps us Understand the Other Person
- Makes it More Likely That the Other Person Will Listen to Us
- Opens the Door to Long Term Human Relationships
Action Plan: Be a Better Listener
1. Focus. Do Not Multitask During Conversation
- Mute your phone and place it facedown on your desk
- Shut your computer monitor off
- Move books and papers away from your reach
- Turn the TV off
- Show the other person they are important
- Give small assurances that you are listening. “Hmm. Yes. I understand.”
- Summarize what was just said.
3. Cues. Pay Attention to social cues.
- Social cues are a critically important aspect of communication.
- Expressed through the face, body, voice, & motion.
- Information is often given or reinforced through cues rather than words.
- Picking up on cues allows you to know when to speak, how your friend is feeling about the topic, when to end the conversation, or how to adjust your own behavior.
4. Empathize. Don’t Minimize.
- Avoid, “If you think that is bad, listen to what happened to me…”
- Listen without thinking about what you are going to say.
- Allow your friend to express their emotions and feelings without judgement.
- Stay positive and understanding. Letting yourself focus on negatives can cause you to overreact with emotion and prevent you from listening
Play Attention’s activity, Auditory Processing, teaches you how to focus on verbal instructions, process the information, and follow through.
Call now to learn how we can develop a customized executive function training plan that will help you, your child, or your clients be a better listener. 800-788-6786. Or schedule a free, 1:1 consultation here.