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“Listen for Success”
                                By Perry Nickelston, DC, FMS, SFMA


Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, wrote, “You can make more friends
in two weeks by becoming a good listener than you can in two years by trying to get other people
interested in you.” He recognized that people who are self-absorbed and talk about themselves all the time
rarely develop strong relationships with others. Your entire success as a doctor, business person and
entrepreneur will be based on your ability to establish relationships. It is essential for you to understand
the importance of listening and how to develop this skill for maximum impact on your communication
style. Successful people understand the incredible value of becoming a good listener. To be a good
listener, you have to want to hear. But you also need some skills to help you.

Here are five strategies to help you become a better listener.

    1. Listen to Understand
Whenever you don‟t pay attention to what others have to say, you communicate that you don‟t value
them. But when you listen to others, you communicate that you respect them and you show them that you
care. Zig Ziglar said, „People don‟t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Take
time to listen to them as a person, not just a doctor. Effective listening requires more than hearing words,
it requires that you find meaning and understanding in what is being said. Meanings are not in words, but
in people. Put yourself in the other person‟s place and your ability to understand will increase.


    2. Look at the Speaker
It‟s called eye contact. Listening begins with giving the speaker your undivided attention. During a
conversation make sure you have PTC (Present Time Consciousness). In other words keep your thoughts
focused on them. Don‟t do anything that will distract you from actively listening to the speaker, such as
catching up on other work or taking notes. And if you don‟t have the time at the moment, then schedule a
time when you can give them full attention. A person forms their first impression of you within ten
seconds, so you have one opportunity to get it right.


    3. Stay Quiet
Don‟t be so quick to jump in with a response. Don‟t interrupt. Let the speaker finish their thought before
you reply. There is nothing wrong with having a moment of silence before you talk. Silence will give you
a chance to reflect on what‟s being said so that you can respond appropriately. Don‟t feel that one of you
has to be speaking all the time. Silence can be an extremely powerful communication tool in business.
Most people feel very uncomfortable with silence. The one who speaks last holds all the power in a
conversation. This comes in very handy during a Report of Findings. Next time you give a report, simply
state the amount of care required and stop talking. Wait for the patient to reply first, no matter how long it
takes. You will see a greater increase in patient compliance.
4. Sum Up
Listening is more effective when it‟s active. A technique for active listening is to sum up what the other
person says at major intervals. As a speaker finishes one subject, paraphrase their main points or ideas
before going on to the next one, and verify that you have gotten the right message. For example, “So, Ms.
Smith let me review to make sure I understand you correctly.” A very powerful technique that reassures
the person and helps you stay focused on what he or she is trying to communicate. After a Patient History
Evaluation, take a moment to sum up exactly what they told you about their condition. Patients want to
know you are listening and unfortunately most doctors don‟t. This is an extraordinary rapport building
skill to implement.



     5. Respond Verbally and Non-Verbally
A good listener will stop talking and use receptive language instead. Use the „I see . . . uh huh . . . oh
really‟ words and phrases that follow and encourage your speaker's thought. This forces you to react to
the ideas presented, rather than the person. If you really want to listen, you will act like a good listener.
Good listeners speak body language. The best technique is to “mirror” the speaker. Assume the same
body language and conversational tone he or she is presenting. You need to be a bit of an actor. Mirroring
the person‟s tonality, sounding like they sound, makes them feel comfortable. If they talk fast, you talk
fast. If they talk slowly you talk slowly. You can strengthen the bond by using the same words they use.
For example, if they use the term „popping sound‟ be sure to begin saying „popping sound.‟ If the speaker
talks with their hands, you should do the same. Never mock the speaker, merely assume the same
language.



Make listening a priority, no matter how busy you become. Many people take for granted the ability to
listen. Most people consider listening to be easy, and they view themselves as pretty good listeners. While
it‟s true that most people are able to hear, few are capable of really listening. Take time to develop this
skill and the results will be astoundingly powerful. Here is a Quick Start Action Plan. Spend one hour this
week talking with the most important person in your life and give that person your undivided attention,
spending two-thirds of the time just listening. Watch what happens!




                   Stopchasingpain.com

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Listen for Success

  • 1. “Listen for Success” By Perry Nickelston, DC, FMS, SFMA Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, wrote, “You can make more friends in two weeks by becoming a good listener than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” He recognized that people who are self-absorbed and talk about themselves all the time rarely develop strong relationships with others. Your entire success as a doctor, business person and entrepreneur will be based on your ability to establish relationships. It is essential for you to understand the importance of listening and how to develop this skill for maximum impact on your communication style. Successful people understand the incredible value of becoming a good listener. To be a good listener, you have to want to hear. But you also need some skills to help you. Here are five strategies to help you become a better listener. 1. Listen to Understand Whenever you don‟t pay attention to what others have to say, you communicate that you don‟t value them. But when you listen to others, you communicate that you respect them and you show them that you care. Zig Ziglar said, „People don‟t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Take time to listen to them as a person, not just a doctor. Effective listening requires more than hearing words, it requires that you find meaning and understanding in what is being said. Meanings are not in words, but in people. Put yourself in the other person‟s place and your ability to understand will increase. 2. Look at the Speaker It‟s called eye contact. Listening begins with giving the speaker your undivided attention. During a conversation make sure you have PTC (Present Time Consciousness). In other words keep your thoughts focused on them. Don‟t do anything that will distract you from actively listening to the speaker, such as catching up on other work or taking notes. And if you don‟t have the time at the moment, then schedule a time when you can give them full attention. A person forms their first impression of you within ten seconds, so you have one opportunity to get it right. 3. Stay Quiet Don‟t be so quick to jump in with a response. Don‟t interrupt. Let the speaker finish their thought before you reply. There is nothing wrong with having a moment of silence before you talk. Silence will give you a chance to reflect on what‟s being said so that you can respond appropriately. Don‟t feel that one of you has to be speaking all the time. Silence can be an extremely powerful communication tool in business. Most people feel very uncomfortable with silence. The one who speaks last holds all the power in a conversation. This comes in very handy during a Report of Findings. Next time you give a report, simply state the amount of care required and stop talking. Wait for the patient to reply first, no matter how long it takes. You will see a greater increase in patient compliance.
  • 2. 4. Sum Up Listening is more effective when it‟s active. A technique for active listening is to sum up what the other person says at major intervals. As a speaker finishes one subject, paraphrase their main points or ideas before going on to the next one, and verify that you have gotten the right message. For example, “So, Ms. Smith let me review to make sure I understand you correctly.” A very powerful technique that reassures the person and helps you stay focused on what he or she is trying to communicate. After a Patient History Evaluation, take a moment to sum up exactly what they told you about their condition. Patients want to know you are listening and unfortunately most doctors don‟t. This is an extraordinary rapport building skill to implement. 5. Respond Verbally and Non-Verbally A good listener will stop talking and use receptive language instead. Use the „I see . . . uh huh . . . oh really‟ words and phrases that follow and encourage your speaker's thought. This forces you to react to the ideas presented, rather than the person. If you really want to listen, you will act like a good listener. Good listeners speak body language. The best technique is to “mirror” the speaker. Assume the same body language and conversational tone he or she is presenting. You need to be a bit of an actor. Mirroring the person‟s tonality, sounding like they sound, makes them feel comfortable. If they talk fast, you talk fast. If they talk slowly you talk slowly. You can strengthen the bond by using the same words they use. For example, if they use the term „popping sound‟ be sure to begin saying „popping sound.‟ If the speaker talks with their hands, you should do the same. Never mock the speaker, merely assume the same language. Make listening a priority, no matter how busy you become. Many people take for granted the ability to listen. Most people consider listening to be easy, and they view themselves as pretty good listeners. While it‟s true that most people are able to hear, few are capable of really listening. Take time to develop this skill and the results will be astoundingly powerful. Here is a Quick Start Action Plan. Spend one hour this week talking with the most important person in your life and give that person your undivided attention, spending two-thirds of the time just listening. Watch what happens! Stopchasingpain.com