How Well do You Listen?
Listening skills are an essential prerequisite to any business relationship. Are you a good listener?
What do good listeners do that makes them good listeners?
- They probe for clarification.
- They listen for a story, and for unvoiced emotions.
- They empathize.
- They summarize well.
- They get rid of distractions while listening.
- They keep the client talking by asking for more details that help them understand.
- They look (not stare) at the client as the client speaks.
- They encourage by nodding their head or giving a slight smile.
- They ask how they might be of help.
- They are aware of and control their body movement (they don’t move around, shake their legs, fidget with objects, etc.)
On the other hand, good listeners don’t:
- Respond too soon.
- Editorialize in midstream.
- Jump to conclusions.
- Judge the speaker.
- Try to solve the problem too quickly.
- Take calls or interruptions in the course of a meeting.
Can you improve your listening skills?
Michael Shapiro, Dynamic Management Solutions, Inc.