Jump right in and save everyone time and effort.
Negative Ned Says…
“Listen, whatever your problem is, I’ve seen it like a thousand times. So I don’t need to hear every little detail or every microscopic consequence of what you’re dealing with. Plus, I don’t really care! I already know how I’m going to react. I’m just gonna interrupt you and cut you short. Do you want to buy this or not? I’m the expert here, and I don’t need you to tell me how to do my job. I have a break coming up in 10 minutes, so you better buy it fast because I don’t intend to spend my precious break time stuck here with you.”
Positive Paul Says…
“Although listening is the most effective communication tool, it is not the most practiced. In our fast-paced, multitasking society, listening and face-to-face communication have taken a back seat to texting, twittering and e-mailing. If someone isn’t done talking within 5 to 7 seconds, we start to think about something else; what we’re going to say, what we’re going to have for dinner, why someone’s wearing that particular outfit. We get distracted very easily. Why? People speak at an average rate of 150 words per minute, but we listen at more than 300 words per minute.
There are many benefits to listening. When you become a good listener, you will become very interesting to a lot of people. Furthermore, you will feel more acknowledged, accepted, understood and validated. Your willingness to listen will also increase your customers’ willingness to listen. You will experience more cooperation, less stress, more pleasure and a greater sense of connection.
Be careful about assuming you know what another person wants. Take the time to really listen — to identify the customer’s needs and concentrate on what she is really saying. Watch her body language and listen to her tone of voice, as well as the words coming out of her mouth. Can you tell how she feels as you listen? All of this takes practice, but it is an important skill to cultivate at work and at home.”
A Real World Example
On a flight from Dallas to San Diego one evening, I started chatting with the gentleman sitting next to me. I asked him about himself – What did he do for a living? How did he meet his wife? How many kids did he have? (People love to talk about themselves, in case you haven’t noticed.) I would ask the question, then listen to his response. For the entire three-hour flight, we talked. He never asked me anything about myself. He didn’t know my name, what I did for a living, or where I’d been. As we were taxiing to the gate, he turned to me and said, “Gosh, you are so interesting.” Sure. I was interesting because I was a good listener.
Moral to the story: To kill time on airplanes, ask your seatmates questions about themselves. They will answer the most intimate details if you simply ask. It’s entertaining and fun.
Strategies to Turn This Around
Become an excellent listener!
- Let people talk, and focus on what they are saying.
- Get rid of distractions.
- Give appropriate verbal and nonverbal cues (Head nods, “uh-huh’s,” lean forward, etc.).
Remember: When you become a good listener, you will become very interesting to people.
“The best listener is the one who really cares about the other person.”
— Kevin Stirtz
© 2012 by Barbara Khozam Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this message may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission of the publisher.