Do you ever listen?  I mean really listen

There is a little known secret to business and life that has been taught to us during infancy: listening.

Listening is fundamental to understanding and it is crucial in business.  It is the key to understanding what other people want and need; therefore, listening should be part of anyone’s business process and life.

You simply cannot persuade others without understanding their needs and wants.  And you cannot persuade others if they perceive that you care more about yourself and business than them.

Yet many people are not very good at listening to others.  I think that is the root of failures in life and business, specifically in failed closes involving sales.

Not listening – a surefire way to failure

Listening is NOT waiting for the other person to finish talking to you so you can say what you need to say.

Have you ever sat in front of someone who kept checking their phone or kept looking away from you while you were talking?  Clearly, that person was not listening to you.  It’s frustrating and rude when people don’t listen.

Every time you take your attention away from the person in front of you, you disconnect and disengage from them, which results in invalidating the other person’s effort to communicate.

If you are hearing their voice but are focused on yourself, thinking about what you are going to say next or concentrating on how you look, then you are not listening.

How to develop your listening skill

  1. Turn off all self-monologues and just pay attention.
  2. Remind yourself that it’s okay to not know everything.  You will actually come across as more authentic if you don’t act as if you know everything.
  3. Sometimes, silence is best.
  4. Not every communication requires an answer, but you can use an acknowledgement to indicate to the other person that you are listening. Phrases such as “I hear you”, “go on”, or “of course” are useful listening tools.
  5. Asking questions will encourage more conversation.
  6. Don’t try to impress the other person.  If that’s your intention, your internal instinct will be to overdo it for the sake of impressing them, and you will forget to listen.
  7. Decide if you are more important than the other person and if what you have to say is more important than what they have to say.
  8. Forget about your ego.  It may get in the way of your ability to listen.  Humility will enhance your listening skill.

Why listening is important

Listening and processing the other person’s communication will lead to a deeper understanding for both parties.

Did you know that people’s number one desire is to be listened to and admired?  If you just listen and admire people, you will achieve unprecedented success both in life and in business.