“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.” Turkish Proverb
Hearing Vs Listening Do not get confused between hearing and listening. Hearing: If you are not deaf, then you hear. It is simply the act of perceiving sound by the ear. If you are not hearing-impaired, hearing simply happens Listening: includes paying real attention and focusing with the intention of understanding and responding appropriately. Listening requires concentration so that your brain processes meaning from words and sentences. Listening leads to learning.
"We were given two ears but only one mouth. This is because God knew that listening was twice as hard as talking.“
BARRIERS TO LISTENING Environmental Adverse conditions like hot weather Semantic Speaker’s style of speaking & mannerisms. Use of difficult words, jargon & repetition. Personal Fear, Anger & Anxiety. Boredom Beliefs, Attitudes and Pre-conceived Ideas. Hunger ,Tiredness & Pain. Socio-Cultural Different cultural backgrounds – personal space, sense of time, etc.
Essential Listening Skills Focus Be Able to read ones emotional state Ask questions Show that you are listening Listen to your Customer Point of View Listen with your Eyes
Essential Listening SkillsFocus Accept that listening is hard work. Prepare to listen & have a positive attitude. Start with an open mind Focus and listen carefully to what the speaker has to say. Dont get distracted by whats happening around you. The speakers tone and accent. The kind of words being used and the way he is behavingRemember: “You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” - M. Scott Peck
Essential Listening SkillsListen with your Eyes and Heart Attention on not only what is being said, but also the manner in which it is being said, should be noted Recognize that people communicate on many levels. Watch their facial expressions, eye contact, posture, hand and feet movements, body movement and placement, and appearance and passage as they walk toward you. Every gesture is communicating something if you listen with your eyes.Remember: “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isnt said.” Peter F. Drucker
Essential Listening SkillsAsk Questions To seek information and gather facts and rationale Be patient. Dont interrupt the speaker. This is disrespectful and suggests you want to talk instead of listen. Be courteous and allow plenty of time for the speaker to convey ideas and meaning. Use a language that is acceptable and will help you gather data. Do not jump the gun, Assumptions are dangerous Hold your tongue & delay judgment.Remember: "We do not grow by knowing all of the answers, but rather by living with the questions." — Max De Pree
Essential Listening SkillsShow that you are Listening Maintaining eye contact with the speaker Using effective body language to convey attentiveness Keeping hands at side and not folded Nodding to indicate approval or recognition Leaning toward the speaker to indicate interest in the content Showing empathy for the speaker Taking notes on the informationRemember:"You learn when you listen. You earn when you listen— not just money, but respect." — Harvey Mackay
Essential Listening SkillsListen to your Customer Point of View By understanding things from the customers point of view People dont buy what you wish to sell. They buy what they need. Selling is not happening when you are talking. Selling is happening when your prospect is talking, and you are listening actively and passionately.Remember: "A bore is a person who talks when you wish him to listen." Ambrose Bierce
Essential Listening SkillsListen with your Eyes An authority on nonverbal language says that 55 percent of the message meaning is nonverbal, 38 percent is indicated by tone of voice, and only 7 percent is conveyed by the words used in a spoken message. Few people know how to listen to the eyes; what a tapping foot means; a furrowed brow; clenched fist; the biting of nails. These often reveal the key feelings behind the words.Remember: “Words have no meaning - People have meaning." Larry Barker
Ten Commandments of EffectiveListening1. Stop talking! You cannot listen when you are talking. You will only be thinking about what you are going to say next instead of paying attention to what the other person is trying to say.2. Put the speaker at ease: Relax, smile, look at the speaker and help that person feel free to talk. Look and act interested. Remove distractions: playing with papers on table etc3. Pay attention to the nonverbal language of physical gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, and body posture.
Ten Commandments of EffectiveListening4. Listen for what is not said. Ask questions to clarify the meaning of words and the feelings involved, or ask the speaker to enlarge on the statement. People often find it difficult to speak up about matters or experiences that are very important or highly emotional for them.5. Know exactly what the other person is saying. Reflect back what the other person has said in a "shared meaning" experience so you completely understand the meaning and content of the message before you reply to it. A good listener does not assume they understand the other person. You, as the listener, should not express your views until you have summarized the speakers message to his satisfaction.
Ten Commandments of EffectiveListening6. Be aware of "tune out" words. These are words which appear in the media that strike an emotional chord in the listener and interferes with attentive listening (e.g. abortion, nuclear war, communism, homosexuality). Avoid arguing mentally.7. Concentrate on "hidden" emotional meanings. What are the real feelings behind the words? What is the tone of voice saying? What does the emphasis on certain words mean8. Be patient. Dont interrupt the speaker. This is disrespectful and suggests you want to talk instead of listen. Be courteous and allow plenty of time for the speaker to convey ideas and meaning.
Ten Commandments of EffectiveListening9. Hold your temper! Try to keep your own emotions from interfering with your listening efficiency. When emotions are high, there is a tendency to tune out the speaker, become defensive, or want to give advice. You dont have to agree to be a good listener. Dont argue! Even if you win, you lose.10. Empathize with the speaker. Try to "walk in the others moccasins" so you can feel what that person is feeling and understand the point of view the speaker is trying to convey.
“Opportunities are often missed because we are broadcasting when we should be listening.” Author Unknown