It's easier than you think....
Most people listen with the intent to reply rather than the intention to understand
The Art of Not Listening is not as difficult to master as you may think.
It can be learned by adopting theses six basic practices...
1) When someone is speaking watch their facial expressions. The moment they start to take a breath, leap in with your own point and agenda.
2) Take every opportunity to bring any topic back to you, This may take a little thought, but you can be thinking about how to do this whilst the other person is speaking - what they are saying is not important anyway.
3) Disregard what the person is saying about how they are feeling and close their self-pitying diatribe down with phrases of 'It can't be that bad' or' That can't be true' - then immediately tell your story, make your inane comment or irrelevant point. The further your more interesting input is from the topic that was being talked about the better.
4) Pick up on the least important point someone as said, emphasise that, then bring in your opinion, point or poorly researched fact. This takes a bit more practice - but you can do it. For example if someone is making a far too well thought out point about religious fundamentalism, mention Hitler and then talk about your recent holiday in Austria.
5) The person who is currently sharing their point or story may themselves be a skilled 'non-listener'. These people present the most difficult of challenges as they may know the first four rules of not listening.
The best way to deal with these people is to out of the blue suggest that 'others' in the group would enjoy a cup of tea or some biscuits. If this enticement does not break the intense listening that is happening; make the refreshments and then contrive to stand in-between the speaker and the listener making comments about the choice of biscuit of cake and so in...
6) If all else fails - start a different conversation with someone else whilst the person speaking is still speaking. Do this by finding something in what is being said to subvert in someway. Ensure that your new side conversation is little more than a whisper so that others will be forced to listen harder to what you are saying.
Follow these approaches and you will soon become a skilled 'non-listener'.
Dr Alan B JOnes
Director Inspire NLP