In today’s busy world we have lost a valuable asset…. Listening.
Do you ever, like me, find that you try to finish a sentence or thought for someone? We do it all the time in our haste to solve a problem and move on to the next thing. We are so busy talking, that we’re not listening.
When you take the time to really listen, it builds the bonds of compassion, understanding, and trust. In short, it builds the relationship. Remember, most people honestly don’t care what you know until they know what you really care about. If that happens to be their problem that you care about, then they are more receptive to your conversation.
There is a profound difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is passive, it does not require interaction other than an occasional “mmmm… hum….,etc.” Listening is active, it requires thought that goes beyond mere conversation.
Here’s a few tips and recommendations on how to be a better listener, which in the long and short run, will grow your network.
- Avoid distractions ~ it builds value
- Interact, use body language, facial expressions, show your interest in what is being said, be sincere
- Do Not interrupt
- Do Not be afraid of silence
- Paraphrase and restate to show you have a clear understanding, to show you are listening.
- Ask pertinent questions and make sure you are both communicating, on the same page.
- Avoid arguing, never make someone wrong, ask them a question, and give them a chance to opt out….. meet them where they are.
- Stay focused on that person, make them feel special and important that you care to listen.
- Summarize points that have been made at key moments, that again tells them that you are listening, and you care and it makes you a better closer.
Benefits of good listening:
- Listening builds trust, they will believe you will take them where they want to go, you are more concerned with what they want then what you want.
- Lower resistance, it reduces tension and defensiveness. We are not trying to persuade or influence, we are simple messengers that have a great idea, we wish to share.
- Listening builds self esteem; it is flattering for a prospect to know that you are concerned about them and not your own bottom line. ( Remember if a prospect thinks you need them to help you get rich that is working on your agenda, never works. Invite them to see the possibilities for them not you.)
- Listening is an active activity, it is a skill, most are not born with it, it is learned, so practice silence in a conversation, and you will be amazed.
- Finally good listeners get results!!!!!