Allan Parker is a Behavioural Scientist and the Managing Director of Peak Performance Development Pty Ltd, a Sydney based consultancy company. His areas of expertise include negotiation, organisational change, and dispute Management. His clients have included Microsoft, AMP, BNP Paribas, Macquarie Bank, NSW Bar Association, the OECD and United Nations. He is the co-author of the best-selling book 'Switch on Your Brain' and author of 'The Negotiator's Toolkit', among others.
Allan Parker shares his insights on listening from his unique perspective of behavioural science. He speaks not only about listening with your ears but with your brain, with your gut, your breathing, nervous system and more.
When you are listening, Allan suggests ‘hitting the pause button’ on the conversation, and taking the time to check with the speaker that what you have heard is correct. It is easy to misinterpret what someone is saying, perhaps due to context or words with multiple meanings. Do you need to ask the speaker to repeat what they have said? Listening for meaning, and not just to the words is so important.
The consequences of not listening are serious, says Allan, and our own chatter inside our brain needs to be quietened in order to listen correctly. He explains how focusing on our peripheral vision can turn down the volume of this internal chatter.
How can we show a speaker that we’re listening? Nodding is a confirmation that we’re tuned in. Facial expressions such as eyebrow raises, and eye movement shows that we’re truly thinking about what we’re hearing. Undisturbed features, on the other hand, may indicate that we’re not actually taking much onboard, engaging in ‘pretend listening’.Tune in to Learn
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