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Listening and its Effect on Learning

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Listening and its Effect on Learning

Listening and its Effect on Learning

Practical Enlightenment by Ariel & Shya Kane

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably spent more time in a classroom than you can remember. It’s likely that you continue to spend time in similar settings, maybe conferences, meetings, sales presentations, or the like. You’ve spent a lifetime listening to teachers, speakers, reading books and materials, and watching presentations, all in the quest for information. But do you really know what you’re doing?

We have a name for this: Learning. But do you really know an effective way to learn? Have you ever even considered the questions, “How well can I learn?” and “How can I learn better?” Despite the thousands of hours that many of us have invested in learning situations, we’ve really never learned how to learn. It was always something that we just sort of figured out on the fly.

There is an existing technology that can make a dramatic difference in how you learn. It isn’t a study method, a memory aid, or a way to read faster. The major component of this technology has a deceptively simple name and you probably think it’s something you already do. It’s called “listening.” But don’t let the name fool you. When you think you’re listening, you may be doing something completely different. I’ve learned that what I used to call “listening” is not what I mean when I use the word now.

I recently attended a business workshop given by Ariel and Shya Kane, entitled Transformation in the Workplace. As part of the seminar, we explored what it means to truly listen, to intentionally hear what is being said from the point of view of the person who is speaking. How many times do you remember sitting in a presentation or a class, engaging in a casual conversation and hearing something that gave you an idea? It happens to me a lot. I follow the thoughts to see what the new information might mean, or how I might use it. But by the time my attention returns to the speaker, I’ve become totally lost.

If the speaker says something that sounds like what I’ve previously learned, I think “I know that” to myself. Since I already know – or believe that I do – I don’t bother to really listen and hear it. And then there’s no chance for me to see that what the speaker is saying is new or different. Even if I did happen to know the facts involved, the speaker’s perspective is different from my own. If I truly listen, I can acquire a new insight into things. When I think, “I already know that,” it closes me off from hearing the truth and therefore learning. And if you hear yourself saying, “I agree” or “I disagree,” you are converting someone else’s words into something you already know. Again, you’re stopping yourself from truly hearing.

Having an agenda is another hindrance to listening. Consider a sales presentation for a product that I’ve already decided I want. I’m probably listening through my agenda, storing information to make the case that the product should be purchased. At the same time, though, I’m filtering out any information that might serve to change my mind – or at least cause me to further question my purchase. Because all information is passing through the filter of my agenda, I’m not truly listening to the speaker, and I’ve lost the opportunity to learn. This filtering process works exactly the same way when my agenda is to not purchase the product.

I also discovered that if I’m practicing what I’m about to say while someone else is speaking, I’m not listening. This is especially true when I’m about to give a planned presentation. I generally don’t remember who spoke before me, much less what they said during their talk because I was busy practicing my talk in my mind.

One final hindrance I want to mention is “feeling badly” for not listening. Punishing yourself is just one more way to avoid listening and learning, and it doesn’t accomplish anything positive. When you notice that you’re not listening, you have a choice. You can feel badly, or you can move your attention away from yourself and back onto the speaker. By choosing wisely, you are placing yourself back into a state where you’re listening and learning.

Since attending the Kanes’ course, I have discovered that listening goes far beyond just learning. It is about truly hearing what is being said, whether it’s coming from a teacher, a coworker, a supervisor, or a client. The simple act of truly listening allows a dramatic shift, a transformation in what you can accomplish in your life. I urge you to try it for yourself. Then, when someone tells you how you’ve suddenly become much more effective, productive and easy to be with, you’ll really be able to hear it.

Andrew Gideon has a Master’s Degree in Computer Science. He is the Vice President and Co–owner of TAG Online, a World Wide Web provider and software development corporation.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, podcast/radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here podcast or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Being Here…Too, is available on Amazon.comBarnesandNoble.com and everywhere books are sold.

Books by Ariel & Shya Kane

So Much To Do, So Little Time! By Ariel & Shya Kane

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So Much To Do, So Little Time! By Ariel & Shya Kane

So Much To Do, So Little Time!
By Ariel & Shya Kane

We recently received a phone call from one of our clients. She was frantic. She couldn’t get it all done. There were so many deadlines. There was so much to produce, and there was so little time. We had a conversation with her and within 10 minutes, she gave up feeling overwhelmed, had gotten back to work and by the end of the day informed us that all of the things that she thought were impossible to get done in time for the deadlines had been completed impeccably and in fact, she had even accomplished more than she dreamt was possible. So we figured we would share with our readers the basic principles and ideas that will support you in being productive and energized when you find yourself “being overwhelmed.”

When looking at how to be centered and productive in demanding circumstances, our three Principles of Instantaneous Transformation are a perfect framework to discover how to easily accomplish those tasks you are faced with.

Our first principle is: Anything you resist will persist and take longer. So, if there is something in the task in front of you that is either challenging or of a creative nature or you are uncertain how to accomplish it, then the resistance to that task will not allow you to complete it. More about this later.

The second principle is: No two things can occupy the same space at the same time. So, if you are complaining to yourself about having to do a project or task, then in that time that you are complaining about having to do it you cannot be doing the task. Again, no two things can occupy the same space at the same time and if you are complaining, that is what you are doing in that time frame.

When looking at life through the second principle, that no two things can occupy the same space at the same time, it becomes very apparent that you are only capable of doing what you are doing in any given moment. Therefore, if you feel overwhelmed, it is of no benefit to look at everything you have to do and try to figure out how to do it all. What is useful is to pick one item or specific task and do that to the best of your ability. What you will find is that by completing that task, you are energized to take on another piece of the project.

The third principle is: Anything you allow to be the way it is will complete itself or will take pressure off of you. In other words, anything that you allow to be the way it is will allow you to be. So how this applies to being “overwhelmed” is if you just do one piece of the project at a time and not resist the rest of the project that is left to be done, then the pressure of the rest of the project will not impose itself on you.

It has been our experience that if you choose the thing that you are most drawn to do, it is a good starting place. Do the thing that you want to do first. And when you complete that look at your tasks and find the piece that you want to do next and give up the conversation about whether or not you want to do it, at all. The time you spend in that conversation eats your productivity.

It is not about getting it over with. It is about doing complete work because when you do complete work you become energized and feel as if you are accomplishing something. When you are trying to get somewhere, i.e. the “end” of the project, you are locked in the first principle by resisting where you are. And anything you resist persists and takes longer. Here are some tips that our client found very useful in the process of getting her work done. First, we coached her to drop the conversation about whether or not it was possible to get it all done. Worrying about the outcome was simply eating her time and energy. It is akin to driving with one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake. It is not a smooth ride, you get lousy gas mileage and you burn out. Worrying is actually a way to stall or procrastinate rather than being productive.

Making an actual list of all the things that needed to be done took the tasks out of her mental computer and freed her up to devote all of her energy to the task at hand. The list let her relax so she wouldn’t need to worry about forgetting something.

Next, our friend had to be willing to suspend her judgments against herself that she was not already finished with her projects. This is another time-waster. You can either kick yourself for not having gotten things done sooner or you can get to work. Once she started working, she worked with consistency, not judging what piece of the project she was completing but simply completing one thing and then the next and then the next. People often lose a lot of time and energy wondering if it they are doing the “right” project when all of the tasks on the list are to be done. She had to trust herself that she wasn’t just doing the easy parts and then would take a break. She worked with consistency, completing a big or small task in the same rhythm and then moving on to the next thing without self-recrimination for not having it done sooner or without congratulating herself for what she was accomplishing. As a result the job was completed far sooner than she imagined was possible and at the end of the day she felt well and truly satisfied.

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Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UK, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books.  Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com.

More Here!

From Novice to Expert by Ariel & Shya Kane

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7th Wave

3/16/16 – From Novice to Expert

“Do or do not. There is no try.” Yoda

You are already an expert if you drop the story that you are not. Tune into Being Here with Ariel & Shya Kane and discover how to go from Novice to Expert in an instant. Callers welcome at Tel# 1-866-472-5795!

Listen Live this Wednesday, March 16th at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel.

NOTE: Sunday, March 13 is Daylight Savings Time in the US. This means that on March 16 & 23, Being Here will air one hour earlier in Europe: 5pm Central European Time & 4pm in the UK.

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 400 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here.

You can also subscribe to BEING HERE on iTunes!

Simple Gifts, An excerpt from Practical Enlightenment

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7th Wave
Simple Gifts, An excerpt from Practical Enlightenment

Simple Gifts An excerpt from Practical Enlightenment by Ariel & Shya Kane Although we had been good friends a long time ago, we hadn’t seen Eric in more than 20 years. It was the first time he had attended one of our Say YES to Your Life! evenings in New York City. He had traveled from Boston to attend our special event, Employee of the Year, a seminar devoted to discovering how to bring excellence to the workplace. There were many others attending for the first time that night – most were cautiously optimistic about what was possible, curious about what they might learn. Eric came to the evening with a plan: Sit back and listen. He thought that would be the best way to approach the seminar since, to his way of thinking, he had nothing of value to offer. Thankfully, his plan failed. Here is what happened: As we looked out at the faces, we could tell that people were looking for many different things but we felt fairly certain that everyone had an interest in being more successful, productive and satisfied at work. We also knew that most people have internalized standards that they unknowingly compare themselves to and many fall short in their own estimation. So we posed a question: “What attributes do you think embody the Employee of the Year?” It was an exciting exploration. Many volunteered ideas – doing complete work with consistency, operating with passion, listening, being responsive to your colleagues and customers, as well as many other useful suggestions. Each attribute someone brought forward came to life as people passionately articulated how they felt and what they saw. Suddenly, a man in the front row stood up. “I’m not sure what my idea of Employee of the Year was before I came in here tonight,” he said, “but being passionate about your job just leapt to the top of my list.” The evening was heating up and, like popcorn, suddenly Eric blossomed and popped out of his chair to add his voice. “I live in Boston and New York City,” he told everyone, “and I take a really nice bus between the two that has an Internet connection. I had a plan this week to do research work via the Internet on the bus on the way down from Boston, but the bus broke down. First I was upset, but that didn’t make the bus move. Then I texted my complaints to my friends, but that didn’t make the bus move either.” People chuckled as they relaxed into the evening and Eric’s story. He went on to say that he had been listening to our podcasts and had our first book, Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work: The Three Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Life, with him. In an instant, while “stuck” on a bus, he had a direct experience of the Second Principle of Instantaneous Transformation: He could only be exactly where he was. That this was his moment. Complaining wouldn’t change the fact that the bus had broken down. So he quit complaining and got engaged, chatting with people around him, looking out the window. Eric grinned as he told everyone that he made a couple of new friends that day. He had surprised himself by entertaining those around him. The evening continued and it was lively, informative and inspired as the diverse group of participants gave each other many gifts, simple stories such as Eric’s. At the end of the evening a young man named Bill who had been a silent observer over the course of the night approached us to say that he had been pleasantly surprised to discover that he wasn’t alone – that he’d been able to relate to all of the people who’d spoken. He let us know that he had been looking at improving the quality of his life for some time now but had felt like he was in possession of only fragmented ideas. Now it was as if those fragments unexpectedly and effortlessly fit together into a usable form. “It wasn’t all new,” Bill said. “But suddenly I felt OK in myself. The best part was when that man Eric spoke about his experience on the bus. I really understood it. I saw that I can only be where I am – but it is up to me what I do with it.” As we interacted with Bill, we couldn’t help but smile. Saying Yes to your life is so simple, yet the results are so profound. In a moment your life can transform and a whole new world, an entirely new possibility, is open and available. We are so happy that Eric failed in his plan to keep quiet. His failure was a win, not only for himself but also for everyone, including a rather shy young man named Bill. We know Eric came to the evening with the misconception that he had nothing of value to contribute. He had no idea that the spontaneous sharing of his experience would make such a difference. People absolutely underestimate what they have to offer. We pre-judge ourselves, thinking we are damaged or “works in progress” or that our “ordinary lives” are nothing special. We love that Eric and many of the folks there that evening gave themselves permission to be self-expressive even if they thought what they had to say was not of use or at best “ordinary.” Each person’s “ordinary” is another’s “extraordinary.” Being one’s self and sharing that with others is simply a gift. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UK, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their four award-winning books. Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com.

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