Past Experiences Create Bagagge

By: kwatkins
Your past becomes the baggage you carry into the present. You take everything you see and everything you hear, and you run it through your own set of filters. As a result, you use everything that has happened to you from birth until two minutes ago to interpret what you hear right now. (How good are your listening skills? Take a fun quiz and find out: http://www.keepcustomers.com/KeyPreview.htm )

Here are a few examples:

•Did you grow up in a small town or a big city?
•How many siblings did you have?
•Were you the oldest, middle, or youngest child?
•What was your religion?
•What was your socio-economic status?
•Did you attend public, private, or religious elementary school?
•Did you have a blended family?
•Was your extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles) active in your life?
•Did you have a job while you were in school?
•What did you do in the summer?
•What were your hobbies and interests?
•Did you like to play sports?
•What were your favorite television shows?


Now, think about your own childhood experiences. What situations or occurrences have shaped your perception and how you view things?

Let’s do a quick exercise. Time yourself for two minutes. Write down as many childhood situations as you can think of in that time period. This isn’t Psych Class 101, so don’t list anything too personal or confidential. Be general. For example: had one sister, mother stayed home, father had blue collar job, lived in rural area, had after school job.

I bet you remembered things you hadn’t thought of in years. And, you probably never thought about how those situations affect your ability to listen. Which brings us to the question -

How does this relate to listening? Your past experiences cause you to interpret what you hear based on YOUR experiences. Since those experiences may be very different from the person talking, there’s potential for miscommunication. To avoid that, focus on the perspective of the person talking - not on your viewpoint. (To find out how to communicate a positive impression to your customers, visit: http://keepcustomers.com/customer%20service%20articles.htm#art1 .)


Self Improvement and Motivation
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