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Five ways to improve your listening skills

The key to collaborative planning and decision making

Listening, rather than talking, is the key to making an effective plan of action for a company or school, according to Peter Hudson. The trouble is, most people are not very good at it. Here Peter looks at five key ideas that will help the members of a team improve as listeners, and therefore as effective collaborative planners.

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Care for those at home

Those working overseas, as teachers or in other roles, always feel genuine concern for the welfare of family and friends “back home”. The distances involved and not being on the doorstep to offer immediate help sometimes intensify this concern to the point of an anxiety that can blight the individual’s overseas experience. Nathan Brown (Bluebird Care Community Liaison Manager for West Kent in the UK), offers sound advice to ensure this does not happen.

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The Holy Grail of Social Listening

Throughout history, good conversation has been highly valued but what are the attributes of a good conversationalist? The ability to listen, rather than eagerly searching for the next opportunity to interject, is certainly one of them. Peter Hudson sets out on a quest to find the Holy Grail of social listening and discovers the old Cuban proverb rings very true;“Listening looks easy, but it’s not simple. Every head is a world.”

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Stretching your boundaries

Know thyself

Socrates

Socrates

For teachers, the old Socratic idea has always been important – you’ve got to be yourself to be successful in the classroom. But how do you get to know yourself? One answer is to know where the boundaries to your own comfort zones are and then think about crossing them and see how you feel. If you need inspiration, perhaps find it in people who are rather more daring than yourself.

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