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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Listening at your best

One of the best ways to improve your listening is to have a clear goal – to know the state you’re aiming for. Listening well (like most other things) is different for every individual. So take a few moments now to get familiar with what listening well is like for you. Think of a time…

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Listening Tip: Use their language

People’s words are important to them. Even when we speak the same language, there are differences in the way we use words – professional groups have their own jargon, young people have their fashionable phrases and so on. In fact, once you explore the detail, each person uses language in a unique way, and the…

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