Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Learning to Listen to Market Communications

My recent post on gaining access to our inner expertise stressed that what we know is, in part, a function of our state of consciousness.

If all knowledge was explicit and continuously available to us, then we would be able to make excellent trading decisions regardless of our mind frames. It is because much of our knowing is encoded implicitly, as a function of "gut feel", that access to that intuition is important.

No one knows this better than psychologists.

If I am focused on the person I'm meeting with, I can pick up subtle nuances in their use of language, the tone of their voice, the sequencing of their topics, the changes in their posture and rate of speaking, etc. That level of being attuned to people not only helps me understand them; it also helps them feel understood.

If, however, I go into a meeting preoccupied with my own concerns, I become emotionally tone deaf. The subtle cues of conversation and interaction become lost and I miss the communications behind the communications.

The same thing happens in intimate relationships: how attuned we are to our partners affects how well we interact with them. If I'm busy talking and not listening, I become tone deaf as a spouse.

The markets are continuously communicating with us; the challenge, like in social interactions, is reading the communications behind the communications. These manifest themselves in patterns, not dissimilar from the patterns of tone of voice and gesture than we see in social conversation.

This is why listening is a core trading skill.

And it's why sustaining a frame of mind that is conducive to listening is paramount for active traders.


Emotionally Intelligent Trading (also see links to first two posts in the series)

Following the Market Like a Psychologist