Are you listening? Listening can be one of the hardest things you do each day. I know it is hard for me sometimes to slow down my own thoughts and actively listen to someone else. I find that the more that you practice actively listening, the better a listener you become. My biggest fault, hindering my listening skills, is trying to anticipate what the other person is going to say and then actually missing what they actually said. Most of the time I can rewind the conversation in my head, and figure it out. Or I am bad at trying to complete other peoples’ sentences…I know this is a bad one! Again, listening is a tool that requires use and practice. I try to improve my skills all of the time.
Have you ever had someone say to you, “what is the last thing I said?” We have all probably been there in a conversation. This can mean a couple of different things, you really weren’t paying attention or you just appeared like you weren’t. Either way is just as bad. People want to feel like you are in tune to what they are saying. Are you making eye contact? Did you ask questions? Are your facial expressions indicative of what they are saying? All of these things make people feel like you are really listening to them.
Distraction can even be detected over the phone. Do people often say to you, “I’ll call you back you sound busy.” Does this sound familiar? I know I have had this happen to me. Have you ever heard, “Is now a good time?” Why would someone ask you that? Did you make them feel rushed to get off of the phone the last time you spoke? The moment the phone rings that should be the only task on your agenda; it should not be a nuisance. The phone call that you just brushed off, may be the only chance you have to make a lasting impression on your customer.
I found a couple of interesting articles on effective listening and thought I would share them:
I also found this chart to be insightful, if you click on the image you can enlarge it.
Until next time,