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November 14, 2013

Listen and Learn

Building successful relationships with customers and coworkers requires strong communication skills.  Many people think this means learning how to speak and present. While these skills are important, learning to listen is perhaps more important. Listening—really listening—can teach you much about how you are being perceived by others, the impact you are making, whether or not you are achieving the results that you want from the conversation, and much, much more. shutterstock_87608035

People tend to hear only what they want to hear and ignore the rest. Confusion and confrontation often result due to this lack of attention to the entire message. The solution is to clarify what you thought you heard by paraphrasing it and asking if you understood what the other person said.

On the other hand, people are not listening to you! Watch body language to check for understanding and listening. Leaning toward you, maintaining good eye contact, and nodding usually mean that they are paying attention. Ask courteous questions to ensure they understand by saying something like, “Let’s recap to make sure we’re on the same page,” or “Do we agree that this is what we are  going to do” and then repeat your message one last time.

See my blog post Three Key Listening Skills for more information you can use.

 

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