Is Listening The Secret to Helping Others Improve Their Productivity?

How many times do we want to talk things over with a Silent Partner,
compared to hearing what he/she thinks or knows? Is silence Platinum,
Golden or Silver? Neuroscientific research has proof.

I heard – if you give a JackAss a Harvard education, all you end up with is a SmartAss. Law school degree too?

Easy come, Easy Go

You read the front-page stories of your favorite newspaper or Internet
news site, and 10 minutes after you finish, you cannot recall the gist of the articles.

Unless you activate your PreFrontal Cortex to kick-in, your reading articles, reports, or books does NOT turn information into long-term memory. But, there
is a solution and Inquiring Minds want to know – how.

Feedback Loop

When we listen to someone explain his or her problem, looking for a practical solution, we really believe they came to us because we are a genius. We just cannot wait for them to shut up so we can steer them to the obvious answer they are too blind and dumb to see.

Wait. We do not want to dominant the conversation, so we just keep asking them
questions – relevant ones they are too involved to ask themselves.

No good (N.G.) it does not help them as adults and did not help them when Mom or
Dad did it when they were kids. They do not want or need a feedback loop to figure
out the answer, just a positive, smiling look on your (listener) face, and a nod or two
at the right time or place.


1. When we mentally hear (subvocalization, Internal Dialogue) our own
thinking about solving a problem, it produces sharper
comprehension, better reasoning and long-term memory.

2. Hold it. If we really understand the problem and search for a
practical solution, explaining the details of the challenge and our
reasoning to a second party, increases discovering a successful strategy
by up to 76%. The secret is NO external Feedback.

They want to hear themselves think. Silence by the listener is the secret. Mom, I’d rather do it myself.

3. If we explain OUT LOUD our understanding of the problem and our
strategy for a successful answer – and there is no one around to hear us. The feedback is personal (auto-didactic = Self-Taught) and improves our comprehension, concentration and consolidation for our long-term memory retention. Important. Read it once more, please.

4. If we are alone and seek a solution or use another for a Silent
springboard – and write a 3-4 sentence explanation and summary,
we improve our problem and decision-making skills up to 62%.

Why? You have involved the Big Three Senses: V-A-K (vision-
auditory-kinesthetic (tactile, touch, feeling).

Google: Vanderbilt University, Dr. Bethany Rittle-Johnson. We tested this listening
strategy on executives and students and the results indicate a 62-76%
improvement. Is this strategy worth learning?

Please take notice: when folks explain their understanding and solution to a peer,
the learner (discoverer) develops self-confidence to use and APPLY this strategy in the future for similar problems.

Moms And Executive Thinking

See if this headline means something to you. Moms Influence How Children Develop
Advanced Cognitive Functions. Google: University of Montreal and U of Minnesota,
Dr. Annie Bernier, 2.08.2010.

Hold it. Our Executive Functions control Impulsive behaviors, need for immediate
gratification, problem-solving, learning from experience, decision-making, long-
term memory, and mental flexibility to reach our goals. Important for success?

The neuroscientific research indicates: how Mom answers a request for help
(accurately and timely), encourages use of personal solution strategies, and
shows respect for their children thinking using trial and error. Mom conditions
our Executive (top-down) Thinking for our adult career experiences.

Guess what?

You can ignore this if you do not own an Inquiring Mind or make it part of your
PFC (Executive Brain). Ask yourself these five questions and write down the

a) How can I best OVERCOME this problem?
b) How must I think DIFFERENTLY about this obstacle?
c) What OPPORTUNITIES am I not seeing here?
d) What is a practical ALTERNATIVE way at looking at this?
e) What RESOURCES can help me solve this challenge?
How can I remember to remember these five questions?

Answer: O.D. (OverDose) + O.A.R. (moves the rowboat)
Opportunities – Alternative – Resources.


Google: Abraham Maslow, said in 1944: If all you have is a hammer, wherever you
look, you see nails (sticking up). Homo sapiens are kings of adaptation,
in Africa we are dark-skinned, and in Alaska we wear furs. Got a hammer?

If at first you don’t succeed, hide the evidence of failure, and say the test
was irrelevant anyway.

If at first you fail and fail again, maybe you are the Standard Deviation to
set the Mean. You should be appreciated for your contribution.

Have you ever noticed that wrong-numbers are always home?

“First get your facts; you can distort them at your leisure.” M. Twain

Would you be better off if you had the skill to read and remember
three (3) books, articles and reports in the time it takes your peers
to hardly finish one? Those with unique competitive skills win
raises and promotions.

Ask us for our free detailed report on speed reading – but only if
you are an Inquiring Mind and need to succeed massively.

See ya,

copyright © 2010, H. Bernard Wechsler
hbw at

Author's Bio: 

Author of Speed Reading For Professionals, published by Barron's.
Business partner of Evelyn Wood, creator of speed reading, graduating
2 million, including the White House staffs of four U.S. Presidents,