When people feel that you are really listening to them, they will approach you more, trust you more and confide in you more. So, whether it’s a partner, an employee, a client or a prospect, it really pays to listen.
Here are 5 approaches you can use to improve your listening skills.
5 Ways to Really “Hear” Others
1. Schedule or plan important meetings in a setting without distractions.
Set yourself up to be a good listener by closing the door; turning off your cell phone and eliminating other distractions.
2. Curtail you own talking.
If you talk less and listen more, you’ll find out what’s really driving the issue that your customer, employee or spouse is concerned about.
3. Focus on not interrupting.
Interrupting throws up a barrier to rapport. Even if you can save time by “cutting to the chase” it’s almost never a good decision, as the other person feels disrespected and the result is a weakened relationship.
4. Pay attention to the non-verbal.
A large percentage of communication is relayed through voice and body language. So hear more than the words that are being said. Look for physical signs that a person is shutting down or becoming defensive and respond to overcome it.
5. Paraphrase what you’ve heard.
Be sure you understood what was said by repeating back what you heard using your own language. You can also ask the other person to do the same. “Can you help me know if I said that correctly by telling me what you’ve just heard?”