How many times do you have a conversation or ask someone to do something and you might as well be talking to yourself ! For example people ask ‘how are you ?’ You reply, ‘ Not good, having a really bad day’. They ignore this and say ‘ Jolly Good, I am really good.’
In other words, they have not listened.
In business as well as socially the art of listening is paramount to interaction. So how can be an efficient listener?Listening can tune your ears to different accents, pronunciation and drastically increase your vocabulary. (https://youtu.be/FyyT2jmVPAk) this is a very amusing video relating to English accents Siobhan Thompson, well worth watching.
- Listening can help you understand the tone of voice. If someone speaks softly, it’s important to ask them to speak up, otherwise instruction can be lost or misinterpreted. The other evening I was explaining where a Chinese takeaway was, it was opposite Connolly Rail station, Dublin. A reply came, ‘ I didn’t know there was a Conference centre was there!
- By listening you gather relevant information about the speaker, especially customers. You can assess their character. Are they into small talk. Do they get to the point. Are they very polite. By listening, a good salesperson will pick up on these attributes.
- If you listen carefully you can ascertain what the speaker is trying to convey which can be paramount in business negotiations. There is nothing worse than someone talking at you trying to sell you something you don’t need.If someone is talking, don’t interrupt. If you do it is not only annoying, but very rude. I breaks the speakers line of thought and potentially destroy the whole conversation.
It’s important to think about what you are listening to. Is it relevant to what you talking about. Nothing worse than passively listening whilst thinking about your impending night out.
Making eye contact with the speaker. I have a friend who looks over my shoulder and around the room while i am speaking, then starts laughing as he has seen something funny, all when I am speaking. AHHHHHHHHH !!! really rude.
Pay attention to body language, it can tell you about their reactions and feelings. Hand movements can extenuate your message. However best not to use it too much or else you will come across as a windmill.
All of the above will improve your listening techniques and help improve your communication with your target audience.
Who or what do you like Listening too? Maybe its relaxing music, podcasts or just plain silence!
Whats your preference?
Leave a comment below with your Listening experiences, good or bad.
Exchange your stories in my FB group. I am sure you have a memorable story to tell.