Improving listening skills is something we all need to do, regardless of our sex. Women are naturally much better at listening than men, but the ladies need to practise too. However, this page is aimed primarily at men.
By the time you get to this page, you should have read ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’. If you haven’t that is the first thing you need to do. Beg steal or borrow the book and begin to learn why men and women are different. Don’t just read it once as if it were a cheap thriller to be cast aside after a quick flick through.
All books should be read with a marker pen. Don’t worry about writing in a book if it is your own copy. One of the fastest ways to improve listening skills is to STUDY this book. Make notes, underline the good bits, and make sure you take in what it says and apply it to your own circumstances. I have seen couples on the point of divorce whose relationships were improved out of all recognition simply by reading and understanding this book. This is a worthwhile exercise for everybody, regardless of whether you are married, living together, or single.
The next step to improving listening skills is to improve your memory. There’s not much point listening well if you have a poor memory. The trick is to hear something and remember it even years later. One of the reasons I have been called a great listener is that I have a great memory for words and what somebody has said.. This only comes about by concentrating so that you hear something properly the first time, then use what you have just learnt time and time again, and train your memory so that you remember it forever. Use it or you lose it.
If a friend of mine wants to find out if somebody is a liar they ask me to speak to them. People who lie need to be able to hear what they are saying as they say it and remember it. That is a very difficult skill. If somebody says something which contradicts something else they said five minutes ago, six months ago, or twenty years ago, I know immediately. It is sad but true that nobody can lie to me and get away with it. Like the proverbial elephant, I never forget the words people have said to me.
There are many techniques to improving memory and with it improving listening skills. Mnemonics are very useful. A mnemonic is simply a way of remembering something by remembering something else. Every musician is familiar with EGBDF, every greedy boy deserves flogging (or every good boy deserves food), an easy way to remember the notes on the stave. The order of planets in average distance from the Sun is represented by My Very Easy Method Just Set Up Nine Planets(Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto)These are examples of a mnemonic.
Visualisation is also an excellent technique for remembering things. The old Roman orators used to remember things by linking them to the rooms in their house, hence the expression, ‘In the first place…..’
Try doing a google search for ‘improving listening skills’, and then get to work. Nobody should be allowed to get away with saying things like ‘I can never remember what my wife says’. Of course you can, it just takes a bit of work. The female of the species wants to know that her man listens to her. What better way to score points in the battle of the sexes than quoting back something she said to you twelve years ago? Improving listening skills will stand you in good stead.