How Good a Listener Are You?
Based on A Survey from The Lost Art of Listening,
by Michael P. Nichols, PHD
To test your listening skills,
print out this page and then take these 2 short surveys.
Put an X next to the behaviors that make you feel listened to and heard when you are talking to someone:
_____ 1. The other person shows interest in my perspective and in what I have to say.
_____ 2. The other person is thinking about what she wants to say while I'm still speaking.
_____ 3. The other person acknowledges what I say before offering their point of view.
_____ 4. The other person jumps in before I finish speaking.
_____ 5. The other person starts to argue with me before acknowledging what I've said.
_____ 6. The other person offer advice or tries to solve the problem before I finish telling them about it.
_____ 7. The other person responds from their own needs and ignores my needs.
_____ 8. The other person shares similar experiences of their own rather than inviting me to elaborate on my situation.
_____ 9. The other person invites me to tell more about myself and my viewpoint.
_____ 10. The other person assumes they know what I'm going to say before I say it.
_____ 11. The other person restates what I've said in their words to be sure they understand me.
_____ 12. The other person makes a concerted effort to focus on and to understand my message.
_____ 13. The other person tune out when I pause to think about what to say or how to say it.
_____ 14. The other person accept criticism without getting defensive.
_____ 15. The other person pretends to be listening, but really isn't.
_____ 16. The other person turns off their cell phone, radio, and TV when I start a conversation with them.
_____ 17. The other person say, "I know how you feel" and then starts to tell their own story.
_____ 18. The other person tries to understand the emotional content of my messages and the deeper meaning beyond the words that I say.
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Put an X next to the items that describe YOUR BEHAVIOR when you are talking with an animal:
_____ 1. I make them feel I'm interested in their perspective and in what they have to say.
_____ 2. I think about what I want to say while they are still speaking.
_____ 3. I acknowledge what they say before offering my point of view?
_____ 4. I jump in before the animal has finished speaking.
_____ 5. I allow the animal to complain without arguing with them.
_____ 6. I offer advice or try to solve the problem before the animal has finished telling me about it.
_____ 7. I concentrate on figure out what the animal is trying to tell me, rather than responding from my own needs.
_____ 8. I share similar experiences of my own rather than inviting them to elaborate on their own situation.
_____ 9. I do my best to get animals to tell me a lot about themselves and their viewpoint.
_____ 10. I assume I know what the animal is going to say before she or he is finished speaking.
_____ 11. I restate in my own words what I heard the animal say to be sure I understand them.
_____ 12. I make a concerted effort to focus on the animal and to understand their message.
_____ 14. I tune out when an animal becomes quiet, is thinking about what to say, or takes longer to start talking than I expected.
_____ 15. I accept criticism without getting defensive.
_____ 16. I pretend to be listening when I'm distracted.
_____ 17. I turn off my cell phone, radio, and TV when I start a conversation with an animal.
_____ 18. I try to understand the emotional content of the animal's messages and the deeper meaning beyond the words, images, and concepts that they communicate.
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I hope that taking this survey has given you some things to think about with regard to your current listening behaviors.