LEARNING TO LISTEN:
The way nature of the communication-so that both sides understand each other-is widely ignored. Listening techniques are vital, since how you listen and conveys meaning to the other person and helps to make the exchange successful.
- Know which questions to ask-it will help you get the right answers.
- Use silence confidently as a tool to encourage hesitant speakers.
- Think about the words you hear, not the person saying them.
- Keep an open mind about what people say.
- Put promises in writing as soon as you can to avoid misunderstandings.
Ask open questions, which lead to discussion, and keep your responses brief. Repeat key words silently as you hear them to help you to remember what is said.
USING LISTENING SKILLS:
Type of listening
- EMPATHIZING: Drawing out the speaker and getting information in a supportive way.
- ANALYZING: Seeking concrete information and trying to disentangle fact from emotion.
- SYNTHESIZING: Proactively guiding the exchange towards an objective.
POINTS TO REMEMBER:
- Confidence is inspired in a speaker if you listen intently.
- What you are told should be regarded as trustworthy until proved otherwise.
- Misunderstandings are caused by wishful thinking-hearing only what you want you to hear.
- Constant interruptions can be very off-putting for people who find it very difficult to get across their point of view.
USING NEURO-LINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING:
One basic theory behind neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is that the way in which people speak shows how they think.
LISTENING AND MIRRORING:
NLP techniques can be used to take the tension out of a situation. For example, if you strongly disagree with someone seated opposite you, listen to them speaking, then speak yourself, using similar imagery and phraseology. If they are sitting defensively, subtly mirror their posture, then slowly change to it a more open one, as above, to encourage them to be less defensive.
We are also influenced by others, and often adopt their opinions without their thinking. Prejudices block good communication. If you can recognize your prejudiced ideas, you will be a better listener.
Listen actively to what people are saying to you and do not let your prejudices get in the way. For example, a manager is asking three subordinates for their views on a new strategy. He has personal prejudices about each of them. So, if the meeting is to be successful, he must overcome these prejudices and listen to what they are saying without making assumptions.
RESPONDING TO SOMEONE:
If you need repetition, further explanation, or extra information, do not hesitate to ask for it.
Three steps to successful communication are: listen carefully what is said; respond (if necessary, ask for clarification); finally, take action.
ACTING ON WHAT YOU HEAR:
What you must never do is promise action and fail to deliver. A classic example is the employee attitude survey, which always expectation of action to remedy management errors. Failures to act on survey findings means you have not listened and instead delivers a harmful message. Keep you promises-and take action as soon as possible.