Your Daily Stretch
One of the reasons we can't listen well to others is that they often speak, without knowing it, in generic language. How often have you heard others say things like this? "No-one around here is answering the phones.' "All our tools are broken." "Nothing is working right." "She always...He never...." "Boss, something needs to be done about this."
Even great listeners can't follow vague ideas. They develop ways of getting people to specify when they speak. Here's today's stretch.
Catch people speaking in generics. Then try this with them. Hold up a sheet of paper tightly in front of them. Ask them to press against the tightly held paper with their full hand open. What you will find is that your partner won't be able to break through. You can add something like, "See when you are all over the place, generic, you can't get through." Now offer them the chance to try to break through the tightly held paper by using one finger. This time they pierce right through.Show them that when they take the time to get specific, they are always much more successful.
Now apply this to the generic language you just heard from them. Help them to become specific. Once they do this, they get the benefit of being heard by you. It's a great way to teach a profound lesson without intimidation.