The KIPP Academy teaches their students a process that would be wise for everyone to follow: SSLANT. The letters stand for: smile, sit up, listen, ask questions, nod when being spoken to and track with your eyes. If you think about it, what this lesson is teaching is the art of listening. If you follow SSLANT as much as possible you will be headed in the direction of skilled listening.
It really makes no difference who originates the communication, since everyone involved in the communication should be following the same six (6) concepts at all times in order to show proper respect and to properly understand the communication. Members of an audience, where possible and reasonable, can follow the rules and in conversations with your children, significant other, boss and/or fellow employees as well.
Paul Luvera writes in an online column, Plaintiff Trial Lawyer Tips: KIPP students “. . . are taught a protocol called SSLANT. It stands for: smile, sit up, listen, ask questions, nod when being spoken to and track with your eyes. I thought of jury selection where SSLANT would be a very good rule for trial lawyers who do a generally bad job by interrupting, not listening and looking like they are angry.”
Outliers: The Story of Success, a book written by Malcolm Gladwell makes reference to many ideas in his book that sets your mind off in new and stimulating directions. Gladwell points out that the students at the KIPP Academy were chosen to attend by randomn. Put another way, this concept will very likely work for any one of us. We all should give it a try.