Improv skills lead to success

Appreciative Listening

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I’ve spent the last several posts describing the different types of listening that John Kline mentions in his book Listening Effectively. The next type of listening, appreciative listening, is both the most enjoyable and the most dangerous. It’s the most enjoyable because appreciative listening is usually reserved for listening to music or a story you love to hear. As the name implies, you appreciate what you’re hearing.

So why is appreciative listening dangerous? In an improv context, you can get so caught up in listening to what’s going on that you forget to contribute yourself. Even if it’s just a momentary pause, a break in the action can disrupt the audience’s experience. Appreciative listening can also affect how you do business. Think of the legendary Steve Jobs “reality distortion field.” Jobs could wrap an audience around his little finger with his enthusiasm and charisma. He had the benefit of promoting some pretty awesome products, but it’s also true that his presentation skills had a lot to do with the public perception of Apple’s work.

If you can entice a business audience to listen appreciatively, I hope you will use your powers only for good.

Written by curtisfrye

May 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm

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