Thursday, May 26, 2005

Is Anybody Listening?

Sometimes we wonder whether anybody is listening at all. We hear comments like these:

"Did you say that was for here, or to go?"

"You want that report by when. . .Wednesday or Thursday?"

"What did you say your name was, and what's the problem with your car?"

Yes, we have heard those comments, and many more, which indicate that the people we are talking with are not paying attention. So here is a superb way for you to stand out from the crowd and "Communicate for Success":

1. Listen carefully to everything someone says to you.
2. Give nonverbal signs you are listening--eye contact, nodding your head, sitting or standing alertly.
3. Use verbal cues to indicate attentiveness: "I see" "I understand" "And then what did you do next?"
4. Respond not just to facts but to the emotions expressed: "Your child is sick, you say. You must be very worried about that."
5. Use reflective listening: "It seems to me you are saying that you are disappointed because someone else got that promotion."
6. Repeat a person's name during the conversation. We really do love the sound of our own names. "Bill, I agree with you."

From more than twenty years of management experience, I am convinced that good listeners get much farther professionally and personally than outstanding speakers do. There are more good speakers than good listeners.

Try these tips, and you will become "The company other people love to keep."

Do your experiences confirm the power of listening? And what listening tips do you want to add?

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Blogger salsoxs said...

Very Interesting. Yes, I feel that listening is a 'True Art'. One can learn from listening and observing the facial features of a Client. The Eyes are the Portal to the Soul.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Bill Lampton, Ph.D. said...

You got that right. It was Cicero who said "The eyes are the windows of the soul." In fact, if you are talking with someone and they are wearing sunglasses so you can't see their eyes, you find it hard to believe that they are giving you their full attention.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Monica Ricci said...

Bill, I agree, listening well is a worthwhile skill to build. I confess that I don't always listen as well as I should have, but I do try to always improve. I was very pleased the other day when I was on the phone with a new prospect. She said, "I can see why you've been in business seven years. You're a terrific active listener."

Well I was just tickled to hear her say that, so I guess my work at listening paid off that day! Have a great day!

9:18 AM  
Blogger Bill Lampton, Ph.D. said...

Monica, that is one of the finest compliments any professional could receive. Your listening skills will separate you--very positively--from those who want to talk, talk, talk, and not give the other person a chance to create dialogue. Thanks for sharing this powerful illustration with us.

10:59 AM  

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