Listen like a partner, not a critic

Listen like a partner, not a critic

The Chinese Character for Listening Image adapted from:

- One of my MBA students said his favorite traditional Chinese word is listen, which includes characters for ears, eyes, mind, and heart. He said this reminds him you need to use all of these to truly listen to someone. He added the word certainly doesn’t include characters for mobile phone, emails from a scary boss, or project due dates. Effective listening is a fully involved experience that takes our wholehearted attention. It’s looking, hearing, and feeling into another’s perspective and learning from it.

It’s an immersion in understanding. A key principle for doing it well is to listen like a partner, not a critic. To do that, strive to understand peoples’ perspectives on their own terms. For the moment, set your agenda aside, you can come back to that later. Resist the temptation to defend it or advance it. Don’t listen with your agenda in the way. Set it aside for now. Listen here. Why set it aside? For one thing, to respond accurately, you need to understand accurately what it is you’re really responding to.

You want to respond to underlying meaning, not just surface level words. This is how to connect and build understanding and rapport and not create an intent/impact gap. You need to connect with what they really mean, not the personal reactions, defenses, or justifications that their words might involuntarily trigger in you. To listen like a partner, also suspend for now that voice inside that wants to judge and evaluate. Take the microphone away from that inner critic. Remember, you can evaluate later after you really understand what you’re evaluating.

You’re not giving in and you’re not giving anything away. You’re just listening without premature evaluation which can be embarrassing. I have an architect friend who has a great way to remember this. He designs buildings, courtyards, and landscapes and he points out that everything new needs its own space. He thinks in similar terms about listening when he’s working with his clients or his team. To listen well, he creates a space in his mind uncluttered with other things. It’s open territory where someone else’s perspective is invited in.

He doesn’t erase his own ideas or surrender his agenda. He simply opens a new space just as he return to a clean page in a sketchpad to draw a new structure. For him, a new conversation is like a new design. It’s a co-creation, not a critique session. If that’s listening like a partner, get alongside them, at least figuratively, and sync up with their ideas, motives, attitudes, and mindsets. For this phase of listening, think of yourself as their partner in perceiving, someone motivated to fully and accurately represent their ideas and interest in ways they would appreciate.

That’s the standard of success. Can you yourself communicate what they think and feel to their satisfaction? Try it. Tell the person, “I want to make sure “I’m getting this right,” or “It’s important to me that I understand. “Tell me if I do.” Then say what you’ve learned and see if they say back to you, “Perfect. “You got it.” Listening isn’t passive or reactive, it’s creative. But we can’t really create, we can’t really get that connection and understanding that’s possible from listening if we bring multitasking, preoccupations, or a preconceived agenda into the listening zone.

A leader I coached came up with a great way of expressing this. He said, “When I’m listening, I want to make “the other person feel like they’re “the most important person in the world.” You’ve probably heard that expression. He added something to it that really stuck with me. He said, “I want to make the other person feel like they’re “the most important person in the world,” then he added, “Because they are.” For him, it’s not just a technique. It’s truth. It’s a commitment. It’s the kind of person and leader he wants to be. The impact that he wants to have. It’s challenging to do, so to get started, I want you to prioritize two people in particular over the next two weeks.

It’s most important for you to focus on doing this with. When you’re listening, try to make the other person feel like nothing else matters in the world, but them, and that you’re committed to understand their point of view and make it known. Say your intention aloud to them in your own words. “I really want to make sure I’m understanding. “Tell me if I’m missing anything.” Then check in with them to see if you got it right and say thank you. Remember, in the listening zone, there’s no defending yourself or setting them straight. Marshall Goldsmith said, “It’s amazing how well “you can listen, if you’re only allowed to say thank you.” Give it a try over the next two weeks.

Check yourself along the way. “Am I listening like a partner right now or a critic?” And always say thank you at the end. Thank you.

Face Yoga – Introduction

Face Yoga Method uses conventional approaches – muscle exercises, stretching and visualization – to naturally tighten, tone and brighten your face. I know from personal experience, as I survived what could’ve been a fatal car crash that significantly altered and aged my face. I developed Face Yoga as my own “medicine,” never imagining at the time that I’d bring it to the public. – Adapted from


You can learn more about Face Yoga from Fumiko Takatsu’s website:

Her Youtube channel:

One exercise: How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Forehead Wrinkles and Droopy Eyelids at the Same Time

Fix Silicon Power USB

My SP Silicon Power USB is 8GB, but windows just recognizes it as 2.1MB only even I tried to format it several times. This problem is fixed for my case by following these steps:

Open up command prompt as administrator and , type the following, pressing Enter after each command:


list disk

select disk x (where x is the number of your USB flash drive – use the capacity to work out which one it is)

attributes disk clear readonly


create partition primary

Now I press Window + E, to open Explorer and then click on Computer, click on the USB disk, and Windows should ask to format the USB normally again.


1. Write protection switch

Check that your flash drive doesn’t have a write protection switch. on it,check the flash drive physically.

2. Windows format utility

check if you can’t format it using the normal windows format utility.

3. Command Prompt

Open up command prompt and , type the following, pressing Enter after each command:


list disk

select disk x (where x is the number of your USB flash drive – use the capacity to work out which one it is)

attributes disk clear readonly


create partition primary

format fs=fat32 (you can swap fat32 for ntfs if you only need to use the drive with Windows computers)


4. Regedit

Open up REGEDIT and find your storage In any version of Windows from XP onwards, run Regedit.exe (searching regedit will usually show the program at the top of the list).

Navigate to the following key:



Double-click on the WriteProtect value in the right-hand pane of Regedit.exe. Change the Value data from 1 to 0 and click OK to save the change. Close Regedit and restart your computer. Connect your USB drive again, and you should find it is no longer write protected. You can now format the drive as normal by right-clicking on it in My Computer and choosing Format.

If you can’t find StorageDevicePolicies, you can try creating a key by right-clicking in the white space in the Control folder and choosing New -> Key and carefully entering the name.

Now double-click on the new key (folder) and right-click once again and choose New -> DWORD. Name it WriteProtect and set its value to 0. Click OK, exit Regedit and reboot your computer.

5. Using a manufactures low level formatting tool.
#Silicon Power Low Level Formatters

Now if you have reached this step it obvisously means all the steps above have failed you, which failed me aswell, until I came across an article that spoke about silicon power USB’s and it hi-lighted some of the problems that might occur with them, and the only way to fix or restore these new silicon power USB/FLASH drive default settings, is by using the prescribed manufactures tools, in this case it will be a low level formatting tool specifically for your USB/FLASH drive brand or manufacture, not just any low level formatting tool will work on your flash drive, however,below I have supplied you with a low level formatting tool that will fix your “write protection error” on your usb/flash drive which works for most manufactures and brands..

Now please take not that this will only work with USB/FLASH drives that only have PS2251 controller which most use.

I hope you found this usefully…



How to install Intel Graphics Installer for Linux Mint

How to install Intel Graphics Installer for Linux Mint


The Intel® Graphics Installer for Linux* allows you to easily install the latest graphics and video drivers for your Intel graphics hardware. This allows you to stay current with the latest enhancements, optimizations, and fixes to the Intel® Graphics Stack to ensure the best user experience with your Intel® graphics hardware. The Intel® Graphics Installer for Linux* is available for the latest versions of Ubuntu* and Fedora*.


LinuxMint is based upon Ubuntu so the installer should work with LinuxMint too. But we don’t know how the installer does not accept Linux Mint.

Keep reading →

Download PDF list of Clinicalkey Subscription Packages

Clinicalkey Subscription Packages

Last Updated on 30 Aug 2014.

This is the list of resources included for subscription packages at Clinicalkey. If you haven’t had a subscription to Clinicalkey yet, you may still find this list useful as it covering all major areas of clinical practice with reliable resources that you can trust.

Clinicalkey Subscription Packages
Clinicalkey Subscription Packages

Download PDF list of Clinicalkey Subscription Packages

You can download PDF list of Clinicalkey Subscription Packages from here for a better format: All_Subscriptions_Clinicalkey.pdf. Here are the list of subscription packages as of 30 Aug 2014.

Enjoy! Keep reading →

How to install Java and BlueJ on Linux Mint

How to install Java and BlueJ on Linux Mint

This post shows you how to install Java and BlueJ on Linux Mint 17 step by step.


Installing Java and BlueJ on Linux Mint
Installing Java and BlueJ on Linux Mint

1. Identify your version of Linux (32 or 64 bits)

First thing first, you need to know which version of Linux you have: a 32 bit or 64 bit version. You can easy identify by using this command in the terminal:

uname -m

2. Installing Java

Visit the Java SE download for the latest version of Java SE. At the time of this post, the current version is Java SE Development Kit 8u25. Because my Linux Mint is 64 bit version, so I downloaded the latest file: jdk-8u25-linux-x64.tar.gz

Open the terminal and use the below command to uncompressed it to the home directory. Suppose that your downloaded file is in the Download folder and please modify the command according to your version of Java SE.

tar xvfz Downloads/jdk-8u25-linux-x64.tar.gz


3- Installing Bluej

Go to BlueJ download and choose all other systems (executable jar file) 6.8 MB) to download the ‘jar’ version. For my case, its version is bluej-314.jar.

Type this command to install Bluej (modify the command if you have a different version of BlueJ)

jdk1.8.0_25/bin/java -jar Downloads/bluej-314.jar


The BlueJ install window appear, accept all default and install it.

Installing Java and BlueJ on Linux Mint
Installing Java and BlueJ on Linux Mint 17

After you installed it successfully, to run Bluej, in the terminal type: