Humpty Dumpty definitions and what you can do about them

Why can’t people just say what they mean? Ambiguity and confusion, resulting in wasted effort, frayed tempers, and increased costs, are common in all business environments. Misunderstandings can be bad enough when you’re face-to-face with colleagues – but the problem gets even worse when technological, linguistic and cultural communication barriers are added to the mix.…

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Three ways to make requirements-gathering more fun

Are your requirements-gathering interviews and workshops a pleasure, or a form of torture? When you make the process enjoyable for participants it becomes more effective – as well as making you more popular! It has long been recognised that one of the leading causes of project failure is having poorly-defined requirements. Remember the old “project cartoon”…

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Three tips to shut people up

Three tips to shut people up It’s all very well getting people talking – but what if they won’t shut up? If you listen well, people will talk. They’ll open up and reveal all kinds of interesting information. You’ll hear the things they didn’t think to say before, and even help them discover and explore…

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Will X-Ray Listening make you a better lover?

Short answer: Probably. Read on for more details 🙂 Last week I was speculating: “What if everyone knew how to listen?” and describing that special build-your-own-goldmine state, created by X-Ray Listening techniques, in which you can really connect easily with family, friends, colleagues and customers, and really understand what people are thinking and feeling. “And then…

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What’s the point?

I was teaching X-Ray Listening to a group of consultants the other day. It’s always a fantastic experience: I love the look on people’s faces as they have various realisations, and discover exciting new things about themselves and their colleagues. There’s a great energy as people play and practice. At first, listening may be a…

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The joy of listening

One of the best things about listening is the pleasure it brings – both to the person being listened to, and to the listener. There’s a real joy for me in eliciting new information: information that my interviewee didn’t know they knew.  People are absolutely fascinating, once you get beyond the everyday conversational niceties and…

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Making requirements-gathering fun

Are your requirements-gathering interviews and workshops a pleasure, or a form of torture? This cartoon from Modern Analyst made me smile – and wince. The thing is, I know that finding out what people really want can be great fun! Three key factors include: The analyst’s expectations. Don’t expect people to be able to describe, off…

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Quieten the voice inside

What distracts you from listening fully to another person? For many people, it’s the ‘voice inside’ – their own internal commentator. This voice may be distracting for all kinds of reasons – it might be offering useful-sounding suggestions, putting forward opinions, criticising, or even talking about something completely different, such as “what’s for supper?” But…

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