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  1. Rehearsing:
    Whether it’s because you are nervous or just trying too hard to impress, it is not possible to take in what your date is saying if your mind is working a mile a minute rehearsing your response. Try staying in the moment, focusing on your date and relax in the knowledge that you are capable of responding successfully without the distraction of “rehearsing”.
  2. Judging:
    While the purpose of dating is to assess whether “he/she is for me”, knee jerk labels based on outer trappings or limited information can get in the way of “getting” what the other person is truly about. While some people are able to make a great impression instantaneously, others may need more time to reveal what makes them special. To quote a famous philosopher: “Once you label me, you negate me”.
  3. Mind Reading:
    The mind reader assumes he/she knows what the other person is NOT saying. For instance, she says: “I have an early meeting tomorrow morning and must get home by 11” and he hears: “She’s not interested in me”. He says: “You have great eyes” and she’s thinking: “Oh, he’s noticing how big my nose is”. Assumptions, which can result from one’s own insecurities, can be misleading and potentially hurtful to both parties.
  4. Day Dreaming:
    There are times that it can be challenging to stay tuned in and focused to what your date is saying. You may have had a hectic day. Your mind is racing with thoughts. Something he/she says triggers one of those thoughts and you’re gone……only to re-connect when you hear the words: “I haven’t shared this with too many people”. You have just missed a meaningful opportunity to connect.
  5. Identifying:
    Your date is sharing a personal experience. You jump in with a similar, and perhaps even grandeur tale, before she/he has finished their story. You’re so excited about sharing your experience that you are missing the opportunity to get to know your date and of course, your date does not feel or get heard.
  6. Advising:
    You are known among your friends as the “problem solver”, always available with great ideas and solutions. Before your date has uttered more than a few sentences you are already in “fix it” mode. Though it may work for your friends, it will block you from hearing what your date has to say and from connecting with the feelings being expressed.
  7. Being Right:
    Though you may enjoy a good debate, your date will not feel heard when you exercise your sparring talents. Being argumentative, needing to be right, sarcasm, put-downs (never humorous) and dismissive replies, all lead to a breakdown in communication and connection.
  8. Placating:
    You want to be pleasant, agreeable and well liked. Each of your responses sound something like: “Oh, that’s great”, “How wonderful”, “That’s amazing”. You are the proverbial “yes man”. However, you do not sound as though you are involved in the conversation. When you stay tuned in and respond appropriately to what is being said, your date feels heard. In addition to which, you allow yourself to be known.

We invite you to identify those blocks that prevent you from listening effectively and from REALLY getting to know each other.

Please feel free to share comments and questions with us regarding these 8 Important ROADBLOCKS to EFFECTIVE LISTENING.

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