Effective listening is not a passive occupation! It requires considerable mental effort, not only to comprehend but also to sift the words for further use. Many people think hearing is enough. It isn’t!
Hearing does not mean listening. Hearing is only the first stage in the listening process.
You can develop your listening skills – try these activities:
- increase your listening span
- take time to listen
- give your full attention
- don’t “switch off” when you hear something you don’t like
- don’t fake attention
- listen between the lines
- listen for ideas, not facts
- don’t monopolise
- adapt your thought speed (we speak at 100 to 150 words per minute and we hear at 400 to 500 words per minute. Since the brain is not idle while we listen, it is difficult to slow down our thinking speed. Poor listeners become impatient with the speaker’s progress and their minds wander)
So, why should you listen to your own clients?
You can learn a great deal by listening:
- it helps with problem-solving
- it gives you time to think
- it increases your self-confidence
- it helps you sell ideas
- it generates ideas
We have a Listening Skills Quiz for you to test yourself – let us know if you would like a copy!