LISTEN to This!
Many of our great leaders are very good at asking questions and are good listeners. Good listeners are popular people.
You will please more people by listening to them than by talking to them.
You cannot listen if you are doing all the talking – and if you are not listening you are not learning.
For better listening don’t talk so much and concentrate on what the other person wants to say.
Listening to staff and clients is one of the most important tasks for good managers and leaders.
Five of the best tips to improve your listening skills
* Set the scene
If possible, choose a quiet area away from others.
Your first task is to establish a rapport with the person so allow time for this. Encourage them to chat. Start the conversation with easy open-ended questions. “Have you had a good year?””How is your family?”
* Give the speaker your undivided attention
Turn off your cell phone.
Empathize with the speaker – think of similar situations and how you would feel.
Concentrate and Listen carefully to what they have to say.
* Be patient
Do not interrupt, even if you disagree with what is being said.
Let the speaker finish. Keep calm and avoid arguments.
* Review the points made
Try to summarise what you have heard. “What issues were not clear? What did you not fully understand? What other things should have been mentioned?”
* Ask simple questions
Ask questions that require definite answers so you learn more about what the speaker really thinks.
Good listeners are very popular people. Start practicing to improve your questioning and listening skills today.
“A wise person talks little, an ignorant one talks much.”
Source: For amplification of this topic see “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 by Amazon.com.