We all have ears, but sometimes things go in one and out the other.

I think there is a loss of authenticity when we do this. We are constructing our response, and not fully present to the speaker. Improv is a great way to develop the ability to listen well and respond genuinely.

An fab exercise for mature listening skills is LAST WORD SPOKEN. The listener's response begins with the speaker's last word. This is also a technique used by counsellors and psychotherapists who may reflect back a whole statement.

The result? The listener has to wait until the speaker has finished has to pay attention to all that is said in case it is the last word responds to what was said rather than what is on their mind Plus the speaker knows that they have been heard and get a chance to reflect on what they said. I'm sure you could add to this list.

I'm not suggesting you go and do this right now, it can be clumsy. Which is why playing is necessary to build the skill. Hence my classes, which look like they are all about fun (we laugh a LOT!), yet are filled with strategies that improve listening, speaking and authenticity.

Do you have a story about not being listened to? I'd love to hear it :)

"I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Cathy yesterday on her Speaking Out programme at Phonic FM. I was really nervous but Cathy's warm manner and professional approach made the whole thing fun. She had thought carefully about what questions would help me speak confidently about things I am passionate about" Morag Kitt Reflexologist