THIS WEEK’S FOCUS:
5 tips to powerful listening – and 3 reasons why it’s powerful to do so
Listening is one of those things we can do well, when we want to; yet, most of the time we seem to be average at best. At the same time, if we think of the people who have really impressed us as special people, or we picture the leaders that have stood out in our lives, invariably they are good listeners – they just seem to make the time to be there to listen to people.
Here are 5 things good listeners do that poor listeners don’t:
Good listeners are present – they are in the here and now when they listen – whilst others seem preoccupied and in a hurry;
Good listeners listen “in the head” of the speaker, listening to understand what they are saying and for the potential in the person and what they have to say; the others “listen in their own heads”, listening to respond, often interrupting with that response;
Good listeners listen for the gist of what is being said, rather than the detail, so that they are able to summarise the main points being made;
In addition good listeners listen for how the speaker feels about what they are saying as this gives them greater insight and therefore more understanding to work with; and then
Good listeners listen between the lines for what is being left out so that they gain even greater insight into what’s going on.
And here are 3 reasons why it’s important to listen well:
When we listen well, people feel valued; put another way, when we take the time to listen properly, the speakers feel that we value them and what they have to say – that’s not to say that we agree with what they have to say; and the converse is also true!
When people feel valued or feel we value what they have to say, they are more likely to feel that we are trustworthy, and more likely to trust us; and
When people trust us, they are more likely to be open with us and open up to you.
So, listening well is really powerful. This week, just try being present when someone is speaking to you and listen to understand. That’s all! Not as easy as it sounds, until it becomes as easy as it sounds!
Monday Morning Perspective: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen R Covey