In my last post I committed to myself that I would try some techniques from The Executive and the Elephant and report back on the results. This is the first status update.
The most effective technique was keeping a wad of RM10 bills in my pocket to remind me not to interrupt anyone. The idea was, should I interrupt anyone, I would fork over RM10.
It really makes me feel like an amateur when I interrupt someone. Like my wife, galloping along on her horse, and getting thrown when the horse dips unexpectedly to grab a mouthful of weeds; my “executive” falls off my “elephant” sometimes.
There is something magical about a physical object in your pocket (such as a wad of RM10 bills) to help you keep the presence of mind to build new habits such as listening attentively.
So the result: It worked like a charm. I did not interrupt anyone, I didn’t have to give anyone any Ringgets, and I feel great about being a better listener.
In fact, the wad of bills also reminded me to use some of the other techniques. I remembered to let people “empty their tea-cup” and I looked them in the eye when they spoke. In retrospect, I looked them in their right eye (my left). In theory it is better to look them in the other eye. I’ll try that next time. But even the right eye was better than looking at my
If you want to improve your listening skills then I recommend that you combine these three techniques. Remembering to do it is the hard part and that is where it helps to have a cumbersome wad of RM10 bills in your pocket.