LISTEN to this!
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 vital interest or concern.
Hearing is with the ears, but listening is with the mind.
Opportunity knocks for those who listen and observe.
Learn to listen carefully. Many surveys show that leaders who listen to their staff are the most effective as well as the most popular.
Five of the best tips to help improve your
* Prepare to listen
Make an effort to prepare to listen to people, eliminate distractions. If possible, find a quiet place free from distractions. Shut the door. Close the window. Turn off your cell-phone.
Empathise with the speaker. Aim to put the speaker at ease. Start with a friendly chat and try to establish a rapport before you start asking questions.
* Be patient
Give the speaker your full attention.
Welcome your visitor with a friendly smile. Keep looking at the person and try not to be disturbed.
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.
* Control your emotions
Be patient – don’t interrupt.
Hear the speaker out first. Don’t argue or jump to any conclusions. Listen hard.
Refrain from giving your own or any controversial views.
* Ask encouraging questions to draw the speaker out
Encourage the speaker by asking simple open- ended questions. Try to draw the speaker out . “Why did you say that? Is that how you really feel about things?”
* Summarise, review and reflect
From time to time try to summarise 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 become a good listener. 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.