Just because you can hear something does not necessarily mean you are listening.
"The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.” - Stephen R. Covey
Listening is very much a mental process. So why is the development and the continuous implementation of listening with an open mind is critical to the success of your business. ?
The concept of engaging in a mutual understanding assists greatly in eliminating any ambiguity with the interpretation of the message being delivered or received. This is a driving action that is at the center of many communication strategies.
The art of listening must be focused on the goal of both connection and understanding. Rather than just hearing to respond, the emphasis must be listening to clearly understand allowing us to be more proactively engaging.
Good listening skills are necessary in business if you want others to listen to you.
Good listeners tend to be very receptive to other people who also give their attention to them when they are speaking. This is an important rule in the art of communication engagement.
Listening Strategies to Help You in Business
Here are some key strategies you need to implement if you want to grow your business:
1. Non verbal engagement
Indicators of listening or hints that a person wants to talk encourages engagement.These include signs such as leaning forward or closer of the other person's body, the nodding of the head, continued direct eye contact and other small acknowledgements.Importantly reciprocate with your signal your willingness to listen.
2. Acknowledgement of feelings
Whilst you may not entirely agree with what the other person feels or says, good listeners and communicators will always acknowledge that those feelings were in fact heard.
3. Encouragement and Elaboration
Ask open ended questions (who,what, where why) which encourages such signs as eye contact and body posture if sitting or standing;will demonstrate your attentiveness all centered on trying to help work on a possible solution.
4.Stop thinking about your response
You cannot possibly be listening to the other person if at the same time you have already started formulating a response beforehand.
5. Keep your ego in check
If you are more concerned or worried about your own personal situation or outcome in a conversation then you cannot be listening effectively to provide a mutually beneficial outcome.
6. Paraphrase on what someone said
This will demonstrate that you have clearly understood his or her point of view.
Listening is a key driver to the development of great long term relationships and good mutual understanding.
If you are ready to talk less, be open minded and be mentally prepared to listen more, implement the outlined strategies that will help you build better emotional relationships as well as financial benefits for your business.