BECOME A GOOD LISTENER
You will please people more by listening to them than talking to them.
You cannot listen if you are talking – and if you are talking you are not learning about things that could be of interest or concern.
Learn to listen carefully. Many surveys show that leaders who listen are the most effective as well as the most popular.
“A good listener is a silent flatterer.”
The five best tips to help improve your listening skills
* First, prepare to listen
If possible, find a quiet place free from distractions. Shut the door.
Don’t be in a hurry. Aim to put the speaker at ease. Start with a friendly chat and try to establish a rapport.
* Give the speaker your full attention
Turn off your cell phone. Disregard the papers on your desk. Keep looking at the person.
Concentrate and show you are listening by nodding and making encouraging noises.
Listen to the tone of what is being said and look at the person’s facial expressions and body language.
* Be patient – don’t interrupt
Hear the speaker out first. Don’t argue or jump to any conclusions.
Refrain from giving your own or controversial views.
* Ask questions
Draw the speaker out with encouraging
open- ended questions. “Why did you say that? Is that how you really feel about things?”
* Recall from time to time
Summarise, review and reflect what you believe the speaker said and recall some of the speaker’s words. This will help you both remember what was said.
A good listener is popular socially and learns a lot more than most people.
“Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.”
Source: “Persuasive Ways. ‘Tricks of the trade’ to get your ideas across”. First published by Moss Associates Ltd., New Zealand and in Chinese by the Shanghai People’s Publishing House, the Singapore Institute of Management, Kogan Page Ltd, U.K and in Hungarian by Bagolyvar Konyvkiado. Also published as the “Secrets of Persuasion” by Cengage Learning Asia and as an e-book and sold by Amazon.com.