We don’t tend to think of listening as a Power Activity because in and of itself, it has historically been a reactionary behavior rather than a proactive one. Now is the time to change that! When you are conversing with a client, prospect, superior or even a family member, clarity of communication is very important. Being a skilled listener is not only a respectful activity, it will improve your efficiency in dealing with others and help you build trust that is so important in key relationships.
Here are 6 tips to help you become a Power Listener:
- Vow to concentrate on what the other person is saying. Give them eye contact, take notes when appropriate, and remember that first and foremost that we listen for context and understanding.
- Seek clarity to assure that effective communications has taken place. To do this, at appropriate times ask concise questions to verify your understanding of their transmission. Probe for detail when appropriate and you will gain enhanced understanding.
- Repeat key ideas as you seek their confirmation that clear communications has taken place. Restate some of their thoughts and conclusions so that you can take communications to the next level. As you extrapolate their thoughts into advanced understanding they will be impressed with your skills and pleased with your action-oriented spirit.
- Confirm what you will do going forward in response to their ideas. They will respect your action-oriented approach to dealing with them.
- Perform the promised function or actions with timeliness and expertise and you will be in the minority of great communicators.
- Check back to confirm that your actions have been taken, the results so far, and their expectations going forward, and your next steps will be clear, and the person will respect your proactivity.
Remember that when we poorly communicate, communication doesn’t fully take place. Be a Power Listener and miscommunications will not ever hamper your life again!