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All Posts by Andrew Ward

Man and woman laughing. Active Listening How To - 5 Easy Steps to Your Best Conversation Yet

Active Listening How To – 5 Easy Steps to Your Best Conversation Yet

Work and social discussions needn't be frustrating time wasters. Active Listening is the number one skill for transforming them into productive dialogues. In this 'Active Listening How To' article I strip the process right back to its fundamentals in five easy, immediately usable steps with examples - what it is and how we can use it in all our conversations to listen better.

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Know how to focus. 9 strategies for improving your focus. Man staring intensely at camera

How to Focus Better In Conversations: 9 Strategies That Actually Work

Ever been here? The discussion has been going for a while. Suddenly, silence snaps you back into the room. They’re awaiting your response… We all have. Our brains are wired this way and a certain amount of wandering is important for a healthy brain. [1] But when listening for crucial information, we need to know how to focus. Here are 9 strategies for helping improve your focus.

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2 7 Ways to Cultivate a Great Listening Attitude for Fruitful Conversations

7 Ways to Cultivate a Great Listening Attitude for Fruitful Conversations

Good listening relies on attitude. Proven listening techniques are essential to effective listening. But our listening attitude is the difference between those techniques bringing forth meaningful, honest, profitable conversations or hollow and insincere ones, which others can sense a mile away. Genuinely seeking to understand the speaker needs to be our top motivation.

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4 Emotional Intelligence Will Make You a Better Listener

Emotional Intelligence Will Make You a Better Listener

Emotions are integral to conversations. A speaker conveys vital information through their feelings and attitudes as well as their spoken words. And while listening, those ideas trigger emotions inside us, either supporting or opposing what we’re hearing. Emotional intelligence is knowing how to leverage these emotions in a manner that enhances our understanding of the speaker’s message. This is something that we can all develop.

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Conversation starters and listening tips for great holiday conversations

25 Conversation Starters and Tips for Engaging Holiday Season Conversations

Christmas for many in New Zealand is a wonderful - albeit slightly crazy - contrast of traditional, hearty winter roasts and steam puddings consumed on a scorching summer day. Social conversations during the holiday season can be equally contrasting, from sedate family news to rampant political conspiracy debates! But these gatherings are also opportunities to delve into fascinating, fun, and stimulating topics. Here are some conversation starters and listening tips to get you talking.

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2 Listen with Empathy

Listen With Empathy – The Number One Goal of Good Listening

I often hear people refer to the act of listening in terms of mechanics - staying focused, asking the right questions, not interrupting, and the like. While these are important, they are only part of the story. Lack of context forces us to consciously figure out on the fly, which of these listening techniques to use. An impossible task! And so we revert to our old habits. However, knowing that the overarching goal is to listen with empathy makes the task much easier. We begin to use the most appropriate listening techniques intuitively.

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