My first response to this question about Extroverts capability to listen was an automatic and very vocal ABSOLUTELY.

In saying that I recognize that the MBTI simply looks at preferences and not capability but it can also point out potential “blindspots” and “By George” I think I just discovered one.

Lesley Parrott, queen of the Insights Discovery inventory, a preference based system built on the work of Jung, very kindly pointed out that Extroverts often want to align with others and this can affect how they listen. She want on to demonstrate the LISTEN and ADD technique

Person A – I had this awesome life shattering experience trekking in the Himalayas (Or whatever else the topic may be)

Person E for Extrovert (adds without a breath in between) I know I know when I backpacked through Poughkeepsie yada yada….

I blushed because I am SO guilty of doing that. I sometimes approach conversation as if it was improv.

Lesley went on to identify how great radio interviewers such as the late great Canadian host Peter Gzowski could ask a question and then let it sit out there in silence giving the person a chance to answer.

The secret to listening … SHUT UP and WAIT for a response or continuation of the thought.

Can you leave “dead” air? What are the chances you might hear something that you might have missed if you filled the void?

Category: Communication
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