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Listen up and tune in!


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Karen Bachmann and Lisa McMichael presented different types of listening skills and how those techniques help UXers at the December amUX meetup.

Like many UX practitioners, you are continuously engaged in user research, meetings and workshops. These activities require observing and taking good notes, and listening. But are you really listening or simply hearing what people have to say? For most of us it’s the latter. During the Listen up! Workshop, we’ll discuss the obvious and nuanced differences between listening and hearing, along with some of the barriers and causes that affect attuned listening. And, we’ll get you out of your seat to practice listening methods so that when you leave, you’ll be armed with a better mechanism for listening.

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Listen up and tune in!

  1. 1. Karen.Lisa.amUx Listen up! Improving listening skills and awareness @karenbachmann
  2. 2. Karen.Lisa.amUx I lead a cross-discipline team of user researchers, UX strategists, IAs, content strategists, BAs, and analy?cs experts at Perficient. We help clients create and deliver effec?ve and sa?sfying user experiences by helping them deeply understand the people who use their products. Listening is cri?cal to my work … as a user researcher … as a consultant … as a manager You think it would come naturally, right? 2
  3. 3. Karen.Lisa.amUx 3
  4. 4. Karen.Lisa.amUx Hearing and Listening Hearing Mechanism of the ear A sense Perceiving sound Passive Con?nuous and pervasive Listening Ears are only one input A skill Making meaning from sound Ac?ve Conscious and selec?ve 4
  5. 5. Karen.Lisa.amUx Listening depends on more than just the hearing sense 5
  6. 6. Karen.Lisa.amUx How we listen •  Listening is unique to each person •  Ac?ve or Conscious •  Inner •  Outer •  Created •  Focused 6
  7. 7. Karen.Lisa.amUx 7 Listening is at the heart of building empathy Listening is an ac?ve prac,ce of empathy
  8. 8. Karen.Lisa.amUx Why is listening a struggle? Constant noise Hearing fa?gue Distrac?on Internal barriers Not valued like speaking Not taught or prac?ced 8
  9. 9. Karen.Lisa.amUx Communica?on model focuses on sender Sender Receiver Feedback Message Channel 9
  10. 10. Karen.Lisa.amUx Communica?on model focuses on sender Sender Receiver Feedback Message Channel 10
  11. 11. Karen.Lisa.amUx Barriers and filters Values and beliefs A`tudes Expecta?ons Inten?ons Culture Situa?onal barriers 11
  12. 12. Karen.Lisa.amUx Bad listening habits •  Forming a response before the speaker finishes •  Reliance on other channels – recordings and wri?ng •  Not recognizing our own preconcep?ons and biases •  “Transla?ng” •  Impa?ence •  Distrac?on •  Disinterest 12
  13. 13. Karen.Lisa.amUx Ac?ve listening exercises •  Silence •  “The mixer” •  Savoring •  Changing listening posi?ons •  RASA = Receive, Appreciate, Summarize, Ask •  Prac?ce and self-evalua?on •  Techniques that improve mindfulness and discipline 13
  14. 14. Karen.Lisa.amUx 14 Prac?ce, as with any skill Evaluate against benchmarks or with a partner Persist
  15. 15. Karen.Lisa.amUx Crea?ng “a listening” •  Understanding listening posi?ons – awareness, presence, consciousness •  Ac?vely designing “a listening” •  Not se`ng up the session or wri?ng your script •  Preparing your mind to receive •  Preparing the context mindful of all the poten?al barriers and remove as many as possible •  Planning to check on your listening •  "Where am I listening from?” •  “Is this working for me?” 15
  16. 16. Karen.Lisa.amUx Types of Listening •  Informa?onal Listening (Listening to learn) •  Cri?cal Listening (Listening to evaluate and analyze) •  Therapeu?c or Empathe?c Listening (Listening to understand feeling and emo?on) •  Apprecia,ve Listening (Listening for enjoyment) •  Rapport Listening (Listening to create connec,on) •  Selec,ve Listening (Listening for specific informa,on) 16
  17. 17. Karen.Lisa.amUx Informa?onal and Cri?cal Listening 17 Give the gil of enough silence Know and control your biases and inner voice Accept their mental model (listen with heart) Summarize and Ask (RASA)
  18. 18. Karen.Lisa.amUx Therapeu?c or Empathe?c Listening 18 Understanding vs. reten?on Humble ques?oning Receive and Appreciate (RASA)
  19. 19. Karen.Lisa.amUx Takeaways •  Listening relies on mul?ple senses •  Listening is a key to empathy •  Listening faces many challenges, but you can manage them •  Listening is a learnable skill •  Listening is a life?me prac?ce •  We can design our listenings in every facet of our work 19
  20. 20. Karen.Lisa.amUx Tune in! Attuned Communication @toknowlisa
  21. 21. Karen.Lisa.amUx How do you respond when you’re thrown a left hook? 21
  22. 22. Karen.Lisa.amUx When you are in… tense or difficult situa?ons new environments non-na?ve se`ngs through mediated tools 22
  23. 23. Karen.Lisa.amUx Self observation perceive yourself during the event broaden your perspec?ve moment to moment Sense your role panerns of behavior disengage and alter them 23
  24. 24. Karen.Lisa.amUx Use your listening tools, and prac?ce… 24
  25. 25. Karen.Lisa.amUx Engaged alignment the resonance of energy and informa?on between two people 25
  26. 26. Karen.Lisa.amUx Feeling felt Resonance, “feeling with” You maps Sense the other’s inten?ons Imagine what an event means in the mind of another 26
  27. 27. Karen.Lisa.amUx Let’s give it a try Speaker: ­  2-min story that expresses how you handled a new situa?on Listener: ­ pay anen?on to the story, also no?ng what emo?ons are being expressed through body language that may not mesh with the story ­ share the most important emo?ons relevant to the story (and) ­ if you where projec?ng your own emo?onal experience onto the speaker, adding to the story, or “thinking and wai?ng to speak” instead of listening Switch roles, play again, discuss any new revela?ons 27
  28. 28. Karen.Lisa.amUx Takeaways 28 Wonderful things happen when people feel felt, when they sense that their minds are held within another’s mind. – D. Siegel Prac,ce being a caring co-listener: Focus on the story told by the body as well as through verbal narra?ve, non-verbal communica?on and interac?onal panerns
  29. 29. Karen.Lisa.amUx Thank you! 29 Let’s connect! Here are a few of the channels where you may find us: @karenbachmann @2knowlisa
  30. 30. Karen.Lisa.amUx Resources ­  Listening Skills: hnp:// ­  Interna?onal Listening Associa?on: hnp:// ­  Conscious Listening, Julian Treasure (Udemy) ­  People Skills for UX: Listening with Julian Treasure and Steve Por?gal ­  How to Speak, How to Listen, Mor?mer J. Adler ­  Can We Just, Like, Get Over the Way Women Talk?, Ann Friedman hnp:// 2015/07/can-we-just-like-get-over-the-way-women-talk.html?mid=twiner-share-thecut ­  Are You Leading or Lording? hnps:// ­  17 Secrets to Na?ve listening Skill in English, Gabby Wallace (Udemy) ­  Dr. Dan Siegel: hnp:// ­  Listening in the Workplace: hnp:// ListeningintheWorkplace.pdf 30