Improving listening skills is a key component to building trust. “Trust is the first building block of every healthy organization” – Patrick Lencioni
- Often a racing mind is to blame for not properly hearing someone when they speak. It’s important to stay in the moment when listening to others.
- Don’t prepare your reply while the other person is still speaking. We’re so busy mentally planning a rebuttal that we miss the other person’s true message.
- Commit to the discipline of staying in the moment as others speak. Resist the temptation to let your mind drift during conversations.
- Focus on the other person’s meaning and motivation. Sense how the other person thinks and use that to stay engaged.
- Listen for clues that reveal the speaker’s hot-button issues, such as repetition or emphasis; then ask open ended questions like “Could you tell me more about that?” This demonstrates your attentiveness and interest.
- When you listen more than you talk, people say, “What a great conversationalist!”
- Listening is an art; it should be nurtured and practiced just like we would a speech.
- Look people in the eye when they speak, and keep a positive expression on your face.
- Good listeners rarely add their own story to what is being said, because it would take their focus away from the speaker.
- Nod to encourage the person to keep speaking.
- Repeat what was said to ensure clarity. This is called paraphrasing. Paraphrase so whoever you are having a conversation with knows you understand what they said, and you are engaged.
- Don’t talk over the person speaking. Don’t allow the speaker to be interrupted. Do not excessively cut people off when they speak.
“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” – Bernard M. Baruch
“Listening is an art; it should be nurtured and practiced just like we would a speech.”
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