Politics isn’t everybody’s cup of tea but just as a comparison, the current political situation in Eastleigh, Nr Southampton is all about who can shout the loudest, parties all trying to make their point heard and this is no different in the world of commerce… It all comes down to ‘communication’.
In coaching/mentoring, we often refer to ‘Two of these and one of these, use in that order’ referring to our ears and mouth. As an individual, business owner, company, solicitor or practice then this advice rings true too and to succeed, you first have to listen … not just hear but ‘truly’ listen! In this age of whiz-by technology, can we honestly say we do as the next distraction flashes across our retinas?
So, to win the hearts and minds of people, first listen. Here’s 5 tips to help you achieve this:
- LET ME PROVE I’M LISTENING – Body language and actions that show you are. The occasional ‘Uh-huh’ or ‘yes’ encourages the speaker to continue. Use facial expressions appropriately like smiling. Nod in affirmation. Create a welcoming and open posture.
- I AM PAYING ATTENTION – Refrain from reading/glancing at those emails or reports that find their way onto your desk. Look at the speaker not at other things. Don’t predict and mentally prepare a rebuttal. Look at the speaker’s body language and listen to that too! Try to put aside other distracting thoughts.
- I WILL RESPOND APPROPRIATELY – Refrain from letting emotions over-run and take over what you really need to say. By all means, assert your opinion but do this respectfully. Do not hide, be open and honest with your reply and remember to always treat others in the same respect that you wished to be treated yourself.
- LET ME GIVE YOU SOME FEEDBACK – A great way to repeat back what you have heard or your interpretation of what you ‘believe’ was meant. Turn it back so the speaker knows you are actually listening and has chance to make further clarification should it be needed. Use phrases such as “What I’m hearing is…”, “My understanding of this is …”. Every now and then, summarise back to the speaker just to ensure they know you are listening. And remember, if you are starting to get emotional about what is being said, do not make assumptions and react but ask for further clarification.
- OK, LET ME HOLD BACK ON JUDGEMENT – As the ratio was stated before, 2-to1. Listen more intently before interrupting to make your point. The speaker will more than likely be put off a logical thought process in their deliverance and the outcome will likely be a more emotive conversation without being able to gain the full understanding. Allow the speaker to complete what they are saying ‘before’ raising questions.
It may sound easy when someone asks of you whether you are an ‘active’ listener… it isn’t. If it were, maybe our politicians would gain much more credence by listening and not just shouting. As a person, you will also gain the respect of those around you whilst also understanding what the people want.
Coaching to Success does just that, we listen first then ask incisive questions to dig further to the truth of what is being said. Should you be looking to develop your business, start off by talking to someone who will listen to your needs, call us to arrange a free consultation by contacting Neil (07761 187238) or throw us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help.