The Gift of Listening,

Think back to the person you fell in love with. Do you remember the feeling you had when they listened to every word you said? Do you remember how intently you listened to them unravel their story, so you could get to know them better? take a moment and savor that feeling.

This is the way we need to listen to each other in the workplace as well. Listening is hard. Studies tell us that our heart rate increases, our blood pressure goes up and we perspire when we are intently listening. Unfortunately, the average adult has the attention span of a gnat and most of us are more interested in what we have to say.

Why is it important to listen, because nobody else is listening? When we take the time to listen as Stephen Covey suggests in his book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – “seek First to Understand before you seek to be understood” people feel that we care about them and that we want the best for them. It is a gift of our attention. Do you want to stand out from the competition? Then deeply listen to your customers. They will feel the love. And who do you want to buy from, someone that loves you or one that views you as a transaction?

Three steps to better listening:
1.    Concentrate
2.    Limit your own talking
3.    Use feedback to ensure understanding. (“I think I heard you say… or, Do I understand that…”)
 

Take Good Care,

2 Comments:

  1. Listening is one of my favorite topics. As you know, I teach coaching for an international coaching school. Invariably the students who are new will tell me what great listeners they are. But after going through our class they are stunned by how much they have learned about how to listen, how to be present, and the power of a little bit of silence.

    The truth is that most of us don’t listen well at all. While we may be “paying attention” to the person speaking we are often secretly plotting out our next statements, designed to demonstrate our brilliance and impress those around us.

    Listening is important in our business life, and equally important in our personal life. I often tell my single friends, “If you really want to impress that young lady, listen to her. Don’t just feign interest, but really deeply listen to her with your ears, your mind, and your heart”.

    I also have a blog entry on listening. It can be found at http://blog.ecilearning.com/2009/02/23/quiet-please.aspx.

    Thanks for a great article, John.

    Dave

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