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When dealing with people, be ready to react to the actions of different personalities. Some examples:

- Dealing with the AGGRESSOR, who is intimidating, hostile and loves to threaten: Listen to everything the person has to say. Avoid arguments and be formal, calling the person by name. Be concise and clear with your reactions.

- Dealing with the UNDERMINER, who takes pride in criticisms and is sarcastic and devious: Focus on the issues and don't acknowledge sarcasm. Don't overreact.

- Dealing with the UNRESPONSIVE person, who is difficult to talk to and never reveals his or her ideas: Ask open-ended questions and learn to be silent - waiting for the person to say something. Be patient and friendly.

- Dealing with the EGOTIST, who knows it all and feels and acts superior: Make sure you know the facts. Agree when possible and ask questions and listen. Disagree when you know you're right.


If you want to listen so you really hear what others say, make sure you are not a:

MIND READER - You'll hear little or nothing as you think "What is this person really thinking or feeling?"

REHEARSER - Your mental tryouts for "Here's what I'll say next" tune out the speaker

FILTERER - Some call this selective listening - hearing only what you want to hear

DREAMER - Drifting off during a face-to-face conversation can lead to an embarrassing "What did you say?" or "Could you repeat that?"

IDENTIFIER - If you refer everything you hear to your experience, you probably didn't really hear what was said

COMPARER - When you get side-tracked assessing the messenger, you're sure to miss the message

DERAILER - Changing the subject to quickly soon tells others you're not interested in anything they have to say

SPARRER - You hear what's said but quickly belittle it or discount it. That puts you in the same class as the derailer

PLACATER - Agreeing with everything you hear just to be nice or to avoice conflict does not mean you're a good listener


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Last modified: January 29, 2004