Posts Tagged ‘listening’

What Do The Best Listeners Do? What Do The Worst Listeners Do?

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

The best listeners send the message that you can take as long as you want to get your thoughts out.  They are listening, and will continue to listen until you are finished.

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

“My girlfriend, Paula, an INFP, is the best listener I know,” says Pam, INTJ.

“She lets me go through the whole shebang without interrupting.”

“The best listener I know is an INFJ who became my mentor,” says, Dee, ENTP.  “When she listens, she doesn’t intervene a lot while you are telling your story.  She lets you get your narrative well said.”

“My INFP daughter is the best listener I know,” says Catherine, ENTJ. “She waits to hear the whole story, even though it’s often a complicated story with lots of layers.”

“My INFJ mother is one of the best listeners in my life,” says Dan, ESTP. “She takes the time to actually hear what I’m saying.  I solve problems best by talking about them, and I usually have to talk a lot before I get to a final thought.  It helps me when people take the time to really listen to everything that I have to say.”

“My father was an INFP and he was an excellent listener,” says Anna, ISFP.  “It’s important that someone give me a chance to speak, and he would sit patiently and let me get through the whole idea.  With some people, when I stop to take a breath, they take off on their own story.”

The worst listeners don’t give you their time.

The worst listeners send the message that if you can’t get your thoughts out quickly, you’re not going to get them out!  They interrupt or cut you off. You can sense their impatience and lack of interest.

“One member of an executive team, an ENTP, is one of the poorest listeners I know,” says Craig, ENFP.  “He’ll just voice right over you, and doesn’t even wait for you to breathe.  I’m trying to make a point and he’s already not paying any attention to it.”

“The worst listener in my life is my ESTJ friend,” says Chip, ESFP.  “She wants closure so quickly that she’ll finish my sentence for me.  I’ll go “Wait a minute, that isn’t what I was saying!”

“The worst listener in my life is my ENFJ colleague,” says John, ENTP.  “She gets impatient with how long it takes me to finish my thoughts, and she just cuts me off and takes the conversation over.”

The best listeners give you their attention.

The best listeners send the message that nothing else in the room, or in their life, is as interesting to them as what you are saying!  They look you in the eyes when you’re talking; they appear alert, attentive and focused.

“One of the best listeners in my life is my friend, an ENFJ,” says Carolyn, INFP.  “When she listens, she pays attention to you.  She’s not distracted or marking time.”

“The best listener in my life is my INTJ husband, and he can be remarkably focused,” says Marthanne, ENFJ. “When I’m telling him something that is very important to me, he’s right there; he’s not trying to do something else.”

“A friend of mine growing up was an ISTP,” says Craig, ENFP.  “He had a laser-like ability to listen.  When I was talking, he was there.  His mind wasn’t anywhere else.  He didn’t say affirming words, but his attention would affirm me.”

Two people who worked with Mary McCaulley, the co-founder of the Center for Applications of Psychological Type, said that she was the best listener they had ever known.  McCaulley, an INFP, passed away in 2003.

“When you talked to her, you felt like you were the only person on earth,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  “She wasn’t thinking about the next thing she had to do; her mind wasn’t elsewhere.”

“No matter who she was listening to, it could be a scientist who studied mangroves in the Florida Everglades, she looked like that was the most important topic in the world at the time,” says Anna, ISFP.  “When she listened, she was captivated.  She couldn’t wait to hear the next sentence from you and was truly interested in what you were saying.  With as much wisdom and knowledge as she had, she always looked like she might be learning something from you.”

The worst listeners don’t give you their attention.

While you are talking, the worst listeners send the message that they’re not really interested, and it’s a struggle for them to pay attention. You can hear that they’d much rather talk than listen.

“One of the worst listeners I know is an old girlfriend, an INFJ,” says Paul, ESFJ.  “Whenever I would tell her something about what I was doing, I’d feel like it was really boring to her, and I’d end up not liking what I was talking about.  Once she was really excited about her music, so I said, “Have you heard of this band?” She said, “No,” and went on talking about the music she liked.  I was completely shot down.”

“One of the worst listeners in my life is my friend, Justy, and I think he’s an INTP,” says Dan, ESTP.  “When I get done talking, he doesn’t say anything, or he’ll say,  “Yeah, OK, that’s interesting.”  It’s a flat response as opposed to a two-way conversation.  I get the impression that he would rather talk about something else.”

“Some of the people in our organization seem to have a hard time hearing me in meetings,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  “Their new ideas are flying so fast that the points I’m trying to make come out sounding irrelevant or they’re just not computed.  I don’t have a lot of grand ideas, but I do have input that might definitely matter if it could be heard.”

“I might tell my friend that I just got back from Las Vegas, and right away, she’ll tell me that when she went, she lost all her money and had a really horrible time,” says Patty, ESTJ.  “She doesn’t seem interested at all in hearing about my trip.”

“One of the worst listeners in my life is my ENFP friend,” says Janet, INFJ.   “She just talks non-stop, and then, when she realizes that she’s talked too much, she asks me some questions about myself.  But I can hear that it’s an effort for her, and she’s not really interested in what I say.”

“The worst listener in my life is my Extraverted friend,” says Susan, ISFJ. “She calls up and starts out by asking me how things are going in my life, but she quickly gets diverted to all her issues, and never asks me anything else about me.  She might talk for a half hour, but then, when I start to talk, she’ll suddenly have to get off the phone.”

 

The Gift Of Listening

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Once, I made two lists.  On the first list, I put the names of the people in my life that I had largely positive feelings about.  On the second, I put the names of the people that I had reservations about, the relationships that I might label problematic.  We called each other friends, but after I’d been with them, I didn’t feel enriched.

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

When I looked at the difference between the two lists, one thing stood out.  The people on the first list were good

listeners, and the people on the second were not. The people on the first list always made me feel like a connection had been made between us, but the people on the second made me feel like a connection had been faked.  The people on the first list made me feel like I was accompanied on this journey of life, the people on the second made me feel like I was alone.

That’s when I realized how important it is to be a good listener to other people.  It’s not just a nice thing to do, or good manners.  Good listening has an existential importance.  It’s the only thing that helps us relieve the loneliness of the human condition.

For something that is so important, it’s amazing how little it’s talked about. It’s rarely taught in our families, schools, workplaces or churches.  There isn’t even a cultural cliche about good listening, like:   A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Most people who have become good listeners learned it in some kind of self-help or psychological setting, and they were usually surprised to learn its importance.  It hasn’t spread to the overall culture.

It’s not even a skill of certain personality types.  Some people may appear to be good listeners because their type makes them less talkative or less opinionated or more sensitive to others, but they will admit that if you listen in on their thoughts, they are often not fully tuned into the other person.  To be genuinely paying attention to another person is a learned skill, and one that takes constant practice.  It’s not something we’re born with.

This is the first in a series.  In the following blog updates, we asked people of all the types,  Who are the best and worst listeners in your life, and why? From that we gleaned some good, practical dos and don’ts on listening.  In the next blog update, we’re going to look at how our type influences our listening.

You’ll probably find a lot of the people you know in these pages, including the person you thought you knew the best, yourself. However, if you decide to begin asking yourself the question:  Am I really listening?  you’ll find that you didn’t really know yourself, or anyone else, before that.

(By Susan Scanlon, The TYPE Reporter, Issue Number 97)

 

Thinking Listening Strengths

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

I can look at it clearly, without emotion.                                                                          

What I like about talking to Thinking types is that I know they can listen to me describe a painful occurrence without feeling the pain themselves.

I don’t want to cause other people pain, and sometimes, when I’m confiding to the Fs who are close to me, I realize it’s affecting them, and I end up trying to comfort them and telling them it’s not so bad.  With a T, I know I can describe exactly how bad I feel, because they won’t necessarily feel it with me.

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

“I don’t have empathy; I can’t feel what they’re feeling, but I can step back a bit and hear the logic of what they’re trying to get across,” says John, ENTP, “I can understand their argument.”

Also, when emotions are strong, Ts can remain untouched by them and continue thinking clearly.  I wish I had a Ts ability not to feel the pain or confusion of others, especially when it’s someone close to me, because then I wouldn’t be so anxious to make it go away.

“My husband, an INTJ, is able to remain calm when I’m upset, which is not my usual experience,” says Marthanne, ENFJ. “Usually, when I get upset, everyone around me gets twice as upset, which is quite annoying.  I remember the first Thanksgiving we spent together when we were dating.  I was cooking the turkey, and I had not allowed the right amount of time and I was supposed to take it from my house to his house.  I was all upset, but he didn’t get upset, or show impatience or condemnation for my being upset.  He just listened through the feeling somehow to what the problem and the solution were.”

“I can look at it clearly, without emotion,” says Pam, INTJ.  “If you’re looking for someone to help you solve a problem, I’m a good one to talk to.”

Also, Ts are more able to keep in mind that even though someone is making a very good case that they have been wronged, there is probably another side to the story.

“I don’t let emotions get in the way and I try to stay fair,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  I’ve learned the hard way that there are two sides to everything, so even though their emotions are legitimate, I should not take sides based on hearing one person’s side of it.  I can listen and commiserate and say, Wow, that’s really rough on you,” instead of  “That’s totally unfair!”

Fs might try to be good listeners simply because people like good listeners. But Ts usually need a different rationale.  They may decide to become good listeners because it makes them more effective in their work.  Good listening, for example, is important in the work of parenting.

“When I was raising children, I realized how important it was to be a good listener,” says Dee, ENTP.  “I raised a 6-year old and 12-year-old from my husband’s first marriage, and the first year we lived together, I was amazed at how much they demanded my attention.  They really needed to talk, especially because their mom had been dying for years.  Kids have a way of focusing your attention.  They’ll tell you, “Mom, you’re not listening.”

Good listening is also important in the workplace, and Ts often get their initial insights about the importance of listening from workplace training or experience.

“I worked on a project with two other people where we had to interview managers,” says John, ENTP.  “We would get together after we’d interviewed a manager to discuss what we’d heard, but we’d spend the whole time arguing about what they had really said.  Finally, I started to take notes and write them up afterwards.  We were shocked to see that we do a lot of interpreting and extrapolating.  For example, a guy would say, “We manage on performance,” and we thought he must mean he’s measuring the outcome of the training programs.  Then we’d find out he wasn’t measuring the outcomes.  “Didn’t he say that?” someone would ask, but when we consulted the notes, we realized that he never said he was measuring performance. After that insight, we became much more effective interviewers.  We could ask great follow-up questions because now we were listening to what people actually said.”

“Once we had a series of staff trainings on listening,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  “We’d do an exercise where you listen, and then repeat it back to make sure you understood what they intended.  My first reaction was:  “That’s positively silly; I know what they said.   But when we did the exercise it was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I didn’t really hear what they were saying at all.’ Just knowing that so much miscommunication is possible opened my mind to the thought that listening isn’t just hearing, there’s more to it.”

“The other part of that training was that we should not just listen to words, but also to the feeling behind it.  For example, if they said, ‘You never do your share of the laundry,’ I would think we were talking about laundry, but what the person is really saying is ‘I feel used.’  “We’re not honest partners.”  “I’m just here to do chores for you.” It is about being valued in the relationship, and that’s what really needs to be addressed.”

Resource:  The Type Reporter, No. 98

Sensing Listening Strengths

Friday, August 5th, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

“I remember all the facts and details.”     

If the gift of Intuitive listeners is that they can put wings on what you say, the gift of Sensing listeners is that they can put arms and legs on what you say.  I can’t tell you how many times my conversations with my Sensing friends have resulted in my suddenly being able to move on a problem that had me stuck in place.  After I talk to them, I know the product to buy, the service to call, the information to download, or the location to drive to.

Another gift of Sensing types is that they can often remember the facts and details that people tell them.  It means a lot to see a person six months after you’ve talked, and hear them ask, “How did that problem with your daughter come out?”

“My strengths are that I’m good at keeping track of people and what they’re doing.  It makes them feel special,” says Dan, ESTP. “For example, my friend told me a few months ago that he’s interested in a graduate program, and I asked him about that recently, and I think he liked that.”

“My strength as a listener is that I remember all the facts and details,” says Patty, ESTJ. “A client might call me back after five years and say, “Hi, I’m sure you don’t remember me, but you tested my daughter.”  I say, “Of course I remember you.”  Your daughter wore a purple sweater that day and her birthday is April 11. “I don’t do it on purpose.  It’s just that all that stuff goes in there and gets filed.”

Sensing types are also often alert to the sensory information about the speaker, so if their words don’t match their body language, Ss will probably pick up on it.

“My strength as a listener is that I notice all the sensory stuff besides their listening:  their tone of voice, the look on their face, the agitation in their bodies,” says Sharon, ISTP.  “I may not even hear the words.  Sometimes I’ll say to a person, “You said this, but everything about you says something else.”  “I might find out later that I was right that they were stressed out, even if it was about something other than what they were talking about.  That’s why I don’t like e-mails, because you can’t see or hear all the other stuff in an email.”

Another strength of some Sensing listeners, and one that is worth imitating, is their ability to ‘see’ in their minds what the person is describing.

“When people are talking to me, it’s like I’m running a movie in my mind’s eye,” says Patty, ESTJ. “I’m visualizing it, and that makes it more fun to listen, and helps me really be with the person.”

Resource: The TYPE Reporter, No. 98, The gift of Listening, Part 2

                                                                                                  

What Do The Best Listeners Do? What Do The Worst Listeners Do?

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

The best listeners send the message that you can take as long as you want to get your thoughts out.  They are listening, and will continue to listen until you are finished.

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

 

“My girlfriend, Paula, an INFP, is the best listener I know,” says Pam, INTJ.

“She lets me go through the whole shebang without interrupting.”

“The best listener I know is an INFJ who became my mentor,” says, Dee, ENTP.  “When she listens, she doesn’t intervene a lot while you are telling your story.  She lets you get your narrative well said.”

“My INFP daughter is the best listener I know,” says Catherine, ENTJ. “She waits to hear the whole story, even though it’s often a complicated story with lots of layers.”

“My INFJ mother is one of the best listeners in my life,” says Dan, ESTP. “She takes the time to actually hear what I’m saying.  I solve problems best by talking about them, and I usually have to talk a lot before I get to a final thought.  It helps me when people take the time to really listen to everything that I have to say.”

“My father was an INFP and he was an excellent listener,” says Anna, ISFP.  “It’s important that someone give me a chance to speak, and he would sit patiently and let me get through the whole idea.  With some people, when I stop to take a breath, they take off on their own story.”

The worst listeners don’t give you their time.

The worst listeners send the message that if you can’t get your thoughts out quickly, you’re not going to get them out!  They interrupt or cut you off. You can sense their impatience and lack of interest.

“One member of an executive team, an ENTP, is one of the poorest listeners I know,” says Craig, ENFP.  “He’ll just voice right over you, and doesn’t even wait for you to breathe.  I’m trying to make a point and he’s already not paying any attention to it.”

“The worst listener in my life is my ESTJ friend,” says Chip, ESFP.  “She wants closure so quickly that she’ll finish my sentence for me.  I’ll go “Wait a minute, that isn’t what I was saying!”

“The worst listener in my life is my ENFJ colleague,” says John, ENTP.  “She gets impatient with how long it takes me to finish my thoughts, and she just cuts me off and takes the conversation over.”

The best listeners give you their attention.

The best listeners send the message that nothing else in the room, or in their life, is as interesting to them as what you are saying!  They look you in the eyes when you’re talking; they appear alert, attentive and focused.

“One of the best listeners in my life is my friend, an ENFJ,” says Carolyn, INFP.  “When she listens, she pays attention to you.  She’s not distracted or marking time.”

“The best listener in my life is my INTJ husband, and he can be remarkably focused,” says Marthanne, ENFJ. “When I’m telling him something that is very important to me, he’s right there; he’s not trying to do something else.”

“A friend of mine growing up was an ISTP,” says Craig, ENFP.  “He had a laser-like ability to listen.  When I was talking, he was there.  His mind wasn’t anywhere else.  He didn’t say affirming words, but his attention would affirm me.”

Two people who worked with Mary McCaulley, the co-founder of the Center for Applications of Psychological Type, said that she was the best listener they had ever known.  McCaulley, an INFP, passed away in 2003.

“When you talked to her, you felt like you were the only person on earth,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  “She wasn’t thinking about the next thing she had to do; her mind wasn’t elsewhere.”

“No matter who she was listening to, it could be a scientist who studied mangroves in the Florida Everglades, she looked like that was the most important topic in the world at the time,” says Anna, ISFP.  “When she listened, she was captivated.  She couldn’t wait to hear the next sentence from you and was truly interested in what you were saying.  With as much wisdom and knowledge as she had, she always looked like she might be learning something from you.”

The worst listeners don’t give you their attention.

While you are talking, the worst listeners send the message that they’re not really interested, and it’s a struggle for them to pay attention. You can hear that they’d much rather talk than listen.

“One of the worst listeners I know is an old girlfriend, an INFJ,” says Paul, ESFJ.  “Whenever I would tell her something about what I was doing, I’d feel like it was really boring to her, and I’d end up not liking what I was talking about.  Once she was really excited about her music, so I said, “Have you heard of this band?” She said, “No,” and went on talking about the music she liked.  I was completely shot down.”

“One of the worst listeners in my life is my friend, Justy, and I think he’s an INTP,” says Dan, ESTP.  “When I get done talking, he doesn’t say anything, or he’ll say,  “Yeah, OK, that’s interesting.”  It’s a flat response as opposed to a two-way conversation.  I get the impression that he would rather talk about something else.”

“Some of the people in our organization seem to have a hard time hearing me in meetings,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  “Their new ideas are flying so fast that the points I’m trying to make come out sounding irrelevant or they’re just not computed.  I don’t have a lot of grand ideas, but I do have input that might definitely matter if it could be heard.”

“I might tell my friend that I just got back from Las Vegas, and right away, she’ll tell me that when she went, she lost all her money and had a really horrible time,” says Patty, ESTJ.  “She doesn’t seem interested at all in hearing about my trip.”

“One of the worst listeners in my life is my ENFP friend,” says Janet, INFJ.   “She just talks non-stop, and then, when she realizes that she’s talked too much, she asks me some questions about myself.  But I can hear that it’s an effort for her, and she’s not really interested in what I say.”

“The worst listener in my life is my Extraverted friend,” says Susan, ISFJ. “She calls up and starts out by asking me how things are going in my life, but she quickly gets diverted to all her issues, and never asks me anything else about me.  She might talk for a half hour, but then, when I start to talk, she’ll suddenly have to get off the phone.”

 

 

 

 

The Gift Of Listening

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Once, I made two lists.  On the first list, I put the names of the people in my life that I had largely positive feelings about.  On the second, I put the names of the people that I had reservations about, the relationships that I might label problematic.  We called each other friends, but after I’d been with them, I didn’t feel enriched.

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

When I looked at the difference between the two lists, one thing stood out.  The people on the first list were good listeners, and the people on the second were not. The people on the first list always made me feel like a connection had been made between us, but the people on the second made me feel like a connection had been faked.  The people on the first list made me feel like I was accompanied on this journey of life, the people on the second made me feel like I was alone.

That’s when I realized how important it is to be a good listener to other people.  It’s not just a nice thing to do, or good manners.  Good listening has an existential importance.  It’s the only thing that helps us relieve the loneliness of the human condition.

For something that is so important, it’s amazing how little it’s talked about. It’s rarely taught in our families, schools, workplaces or churches.  There isn’t even a cultural cliche about good listening, like:   A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Most people who have become good listeners learned it in some kind of self-help or psychological setting, and they were usually surprised to learn its importance.  It hasn’t spread to the overall culture.

It’s not even a skill of certain personality types.  Some people may appear to be good listeners because their type makes them less talkative or less opinionated or more sensitive to others, but they will admit that if you listen in on their thoughts, they are often not fully tuned into the other person.  To be genuinely paying attention to another person is a learned skill, and one that takes constant practice.  It’s not something we’re born with.

This is the first in a series.  In the following blog updates, we asked people of all the types,  Who are the best and worst listeners in your life, and why? From that we gleaned some good, practical dos and don’ts on listening.  In the next blog update, we’re going to look at how our type influences our listening.

You’ll probably find a lot of the people you know in these pages, including the person you thought you knew the best, yourself. However, if you decide to begin asking yourself the question:  Am I really listening?  you’ll find that you didn’t really know yourself, or anyone else, before that.

(By Susan Scanlon, The TYPE Reporter, Issue Number 97)

Thinking Listening Strengths

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

I can look at it clearly, without emotion.     

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

What I like about talking to Thinking types is that I know they can listen to

me describe a painful occurrence without feeling the pain themselves.

I don’t want to cause other people pain, and sometimes, when I’m confiding to the Fs who are close to me, I realize it’s affecting them, and I end up trying to comfort them and telling them it’s not so bad.  With a T, I know I can describe exactly how bad I feel, because they won’t necessarily feel it with me.

“I don’t have empathy; I can’t feel what they’re feeling, but I can step back a bit and hear the logic of what they’re trying to get across,” says John, ENTP, “I can understand their argument.”

Also, when emotions are strong, Ts can remain untouched by them and continue thinking clearly.  I wish I had a Ts ability not to feel the pain or confusion of others, especially when it’s someone close to me, because then I wouldn’t be so anxious to make it go away.

“My husband, an INTJ, is able to remain calm when I’m upset, which is not my usual experience,” says Marthanne, ENFJ. “Usually, when I get upset, everyone around me gets twice as upset, which is quite annoying.  I remember the first Thanksgiving we spent together when we were dating.  I was cooking the turkey, and I had not allowed the right amount of time and I was supposed to take it from my house to his house.  I was all upset, but he didn’t get upset, or show impatience or condemnation for my being upset.  He just listened through the feeling somehow to what the problem and the solution were.”

“I can look at it clearly, without emotion,” says Pam, INTJ.  “If you’re looking for someone to help you solve a problem, I’m a good one to talk to.”

Also, Ts are more able to keep in mind that even though someone is making a very good case that they have been wronged, there is probably another side to the story.

“I don’t let emotions get in the way and I try to stay fair,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  I’ve learned the hard way that there are two sides to everything, so even though their emotions are legitimate, I should not take sides based on hearing one person’s side of it.  I can listen and commiserate and say, Wow, that’s really rough on you,” instead of  “That’s totally unfair!”

Fs might try to be good listeners simply because people like good listeners. But Ts usually need a different rationale.  They may decide to become good listeners because it makes them more effective in their work.  Good listening, for example, is important in the work of parenting.

“When I was raising children, I realized how important it was to be a good listener,” says Dee, ENTP.  “I raised a 6-year old and 12-year-old from my husband’s first marriage, and the first year we lived together, I was amazed at how much they demanded my attention.  They really needed to talk, especially because their mom had been dying for years.  Kids have a way of focusing your attention.  They’ll tell you, “Mom, you’re not listening.”

Good listening is also important in the workplace, and Ts often get their initial insights about the importance of listening from workplace training or experience.

“I worked on a project with two other people where we had to interview managers,” says John, ENTP.  “We would get together after we’d interviewed a manager to discuss what we’d heard, but we’d spend the whole time arguing about what they had really said.  Finally, I started to take notes and write them up afterwards.  We were shocked to see that we do a lot of interpreting and extrapolating.  For example, a guy would say, “We manage on performance,” and we thought he must mean he’s measuring the outcome of the training programs.  Then we’d find out he wasn’t measuring the outcomes.  “Didn’t he say that?” someone would ask, but when we consulted the notes, we realized that he never said he was measuring performance. After that insight, we became much more effective interviewers.  We could ask great follow-up questions because now we were listening to what people actually said.”

“Once we had a series of staff trainings on listening,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  “We’d do an exercise where you listen, and then repeat it back to make sure you understood what they intended.  My first reaction was:  “That’s positively silly; I know what they said.   But when we did the exercise it was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I didn’t really hear what they were saying at all.’ Just knowing that so much miscommunication is possible opened my mind to the thought that listening isn’t just hearing, there’s more to it.”

“The other part of that training was that we should not just listen to words, but also to the feeling behind it.  For example, if they said, ‘You never do your share of the laundry,’ I would think we were talking about laundry, but what the person is really saying is ‘I feel used.’  “We’re not honest partners.”  “I’m just here to do chores for you.” It is about being valued in the relationship, and that’s what really needs to be addressed.”

Resource:  The Type Reporter, No. 98

 

   

 

Feeling Listening Strengths

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

Feelings are underneath everything we convey, even if it’s news or information.  Being able to understand the feelings of people, even if they are not being discussed, is a huge plus for Feeling types when it comes to listening.

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

My strength as a listener is that I can get inside people’s heads and know

where they’re coming from,” says Marthanne, ENFJ.  “Most people experience that very positively as a blessing and a drink of water when they’re thirsty.”

When I listen to people I become like them; I’m in the ring with them,” says Craig, ENFP. “I love getting inside the head of someone and walking in their shoes,” says Janet, INFJ.  “In fact, it’s energizing for me.”

Another strength of Feeling types is that they want to please people, and if they figure out that listening is a way to please people, they have a strong desire to give the gift of listening.

“I always try to act as interested and engaged as I possibly can,” says Paul, ESFJ.  “I ask them a lot of questions, and ask myself what they are really trying to tell me.  Then, I try to share an experience that is similar, so they know they’re not the only ones who feel that way.”

“Ever since I was little, I felt like listening was one of my strengths,” says Susan, ISFJ.  “I have a lot of patience, and I really, really like people.”  I realized early on that people like talking about themselves, and if I listen, they like me.”

Source:  The TYPE Reporter- The Gift of Listening, No. 98

Sensing Listening Strengths

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

“I remember all the facts and details.” 

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

If the gift of Intuitive listeners is that they can put wings on what you say, the gift of Sensing listeners is that they can put arms and legs on what you say.  I can’t tell you how many times my conversations with my Sensing friends have resulted in my suddenly being able to move on a problem that had me stuck in place.  After I talk to them, I know the product to buy, the service to call, the information to download, or the location to drive to.

Another gift of Sensing types is that they can often remember the facts and details that people tell them.  It means a lot to see a person six months after you’ve talked, and hear them ask, “How did that problem with your daughter come out?”

“My strengths are that I’m good at keeping track of people and what they’re doing.  It makes them feel special,” says Dan, ESTP. “For example, my friend told me a few months ago that he’s interested in a graduate program, and I asked him about that recently, and I think he liked that.”

“My strength as a listener is that I remember all the facts and details,” says Patty, ESTJ. “A client might call me back after five years and say, “Hi, I’m sure you don’t remember me, but you tested my daughter.”  I say, “Of course I remember you.”  Your daughter wore a purple sweater that day and her birthday is April 11. “I don’t do it on purpose.  It’s just that all that stuff goes in there and gets filed.”

Sensing types are also often alert to the sensory information about the speaker, so if their words don’t match their body language, Ss will probably pick up on it.

“My strength as a listener is that I notice all the sensory stuff besides their listening:  their tone of voice, the look on their face, the agitation in their bodies,” says Sharon, ISTP.  “I may not even hear the words.  Sometimes I’ll say to a person, “You said this, but everything about you says something else.”  “I might find out later that I was right that they were stressed out, even if it was about something other than what they were talking about.  That’s why I don’t like e-mails, because you can’t see or hear all the other stuff in an email.”

Another strength of some Sensing listeners, and one that is worth imitating, is their ability to ‘see’ in their minds what the person is describing.

“When people are talking to me, it’s like I’m running a movie in my mind’s eye,” says Patty, ESTJ. “I’m visualizing it, and that makes it more fun to listen, and helps me really be with the person.”

Resource: The TYPE Reporter, No. 98, The gift of Listening, Part 2

What Do The Best Listeners Do? What Do The Worst Listeners Do?

Friday, June 5th, 2015

The best listeners send the message that you can take as long as you want to get your thoughts out.  They are listening, and will continue to listen until you are finished.

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

“My girlfriend, Paula, an INFP, is the best listener I know,” says Pam, INTJ.   “She lets me go through the whole shebang without interrupting.”

“The best listener I know is an INFJ who became my mentor,” says, Dee, ENTP.  “When she listens, she doesn’t intervene a lot while you are telling your story.  She lets you get your narrative well said.”

“My INFP daughter is the best listener I know,” says Catherine, ENTJ. “She waits to hear the whole story, even though it’s often a complicated story with lots of layers.”

“My INFJ mother is one of the best listeners in my life,” says Dan, ESTP. “She takes the time to actually hear what I’m saying.  I solve problems best by talking about them, and I usually have to talk a lot before I get to a final thought.  It helps me when people take the time to really listen to everything that I have to say.”

“My father was an INFP and he was an excellent listener,” says Anna, ISFP.  “It’s important that someone give me a chance to speak, and he would sit patiently and let me get through the whole idea.  With some people, when I stop to take a breath, they take off on their own story.”

The worst listeners don’t give you their time.

The worst listeners send the message that if you can’t get your thoughts out quickly, you’re not going to get them out!  They interrupt or cut you off. You can sense their impatience and lack of interest.

“One member of an executive team, an ENTP, is one of the poorest listeners I know,” says Craig, ENFP.  “He’ll just voice right over you, and doesn’t even wait for you to breathe.  I’m trying to make a point and he’s already not paying any attention to it.”

“The worst listener in my life is my ESTJ friend,” says Chip, ESFP.  “She wants closure so quickly that she’ll finish my sentence for me.  I’ll go “Wait a minute, that isn’t what I was saying!”

“The worst listener in my life is my ENFJ colleague,” says John, ENTP.  “She gets impatient with how long it takes me to finish my thoughts, and she just cuts me off and takes the conversation over.”

The best listeners give you their attention.

The best listeners send the message that nothing else in the room, or in their life, is as interesting to them as what you are saying!  They look you in the eyes when you’re talking; they appear alert, attentive and focused.

“One of the best listeners in my life is my friend, an ENFJ,” says Carolyn, INFP.  “When she listens, she pays attention to you.  She’s not distracted or marking time.”

“The best listener in my life is my INTJ husband, and he can be remarkably focused,” says Marthanne, ENFJ. “When I’m telling him something that is very important to me, he’s right there; he’s not trying to do something else.”

“A friend of mine growing up was an ISTP,” says Craig, ENFP.  “He had a laser-like ability to listen.  When I was talking, he was there.  His mind wasn’t anywhere else.  He didn’t say affirming words, but his attention would affirm me.”

Two people who worked with Mary McCaulley, the co-founder of the Center for Applications of Psychological Type, said that she was the best listener they had ever known.  McCaulley, an INFP, passed away in 2003.

“When you talked to her, you felt like you were the only person on earth,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  “She wasn’t thinking about the next thing she had to do; her mind wasn’t elsewhere.”

“No matter who she was listening to, it could be a scientist who studied mangroves in the florida Everglades, she looked like that was the most important topic in the world at the time,” says Anna, ISFP.  “When she listened, she was captivated.  She couldn’t wait to hear the next sentence from you and was truly interested in what you were saying.  With as much wisdom and knowledge as she had, she always looked like she might be learning something from you.”

The worst listeners don’t give you their attention.

While you are talking, the worst listeners send the message that they’re not really interested, and it’s a struggle for them to pay attention. You can hear that they’d much rather talk than listen.

“One of the worst listeners I know is an old girlfriend, an INFJ,” says Paul, ESFJ.  “Whenever I would tell her something about what I was doing, I’d feel like it was really boring to her, and I’d end up not liking what I was talking about.  Once she was really excited about her music, so I said, “Have you heard of this band?” She said, “No,” and went on talking about the music she liked.  I was completely shot down.”

“One of the worst listeners in my life is my friend, Justy, and I think he’s an INTP,” says Dan, ESTP.  “When I get done talking, he doesn’t say anything, or he’ll say,  “Yeah, OK, that’s interesting.”  It’s a flat response as opposed to a two-way conversation.  I get the impression that he would rather talk about something else.”

“Some of the people in our organization seem to have a hard time hearing me in meetings,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  “Their new ideas are flying so fast that the points I’m trying to make come out sounding irrelevant or they’re just not computed.  I don’t have a lot of grand ideas, but I do have input that might definitely matter if it could be heard.”

“I might tell my friend that I just got back from Las Vegas, and right away, she’ll tell me that when she went, she lost all her money and had a really horrible time,” says Patty, ESTJ.  “She doesn’t seem interested at all in hearing about my trip.”

“One of the worst listeners in my life is my ENFP friend,” says Janet, INFJ.   “She just talks non-stop, and then, when she realizes that she’s talked too much, she asks me some questions about myself.  But I can hear that it’s an effort for her, and she’s not really interested in what I say.”

“The worst listener in my life is my Extraverted friend,” says Susan, ISFJ. “She calls up and starts out by asking me how things are going in my life, but she quickly gets diverted to all her issues, and never asks me anything else about me.  She might talk for a half hour, but then, when I start to talk, she’ll suddenly have to get off the phone.”