Learning to listen

Discussion in 'Self Improvement and Being Successful' started by djschwab, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. djschwab

    djschwab
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    One of the hardest activities people have to engage in is actually listening to what other people are telling them. Ever since starting my own business, I have really worked on becoming a better listener. I need to know exactly what my customer or prospect is asking of me, so I can meet their expectations.
     
  2. Fergal

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    Do you have any specific tips as to how you improved your listening skills?
     
  3. Nazreen

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    I agree with you djschwab. The only way that you'll know what your customer wants is if you're a good listener.

    I think that the best tip on how to develop listening skills is to stop talking. If you and the one you're talking to are both talking, then both of you cannot listen because both of you are not paying any attention to what the other is saying.

    Another tip would be not to daydream and focus on what the other person is saying and not what you want to hear.
     
  4. Fergal

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    When customers or potential customers are talking they often give us invaluable information that can help us close a sale. They might speak about a problem they have that your product or service can resolve, or they might speak about issues they have with their existing supplier - which can give you the opportunity to express the benefits of buying from your company.

    I previously worked in telesales and one skill I learnt from that time was listening for this information.
     
  5. silent_thunder

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    I agree!! that is why most of the graduate record exams have listening as part of their tests!! Listening skill is very important for one to gain knowledge and share it as well
     
  6. harmin

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    Hello djschwab.Its true that you can come close the customers needs by read their brain and it is only possible when you will listen about their requirements. Have a great patience and just try to understand what customer are asking you and try to fulfill their exact demands.
     
  7. djschwab

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    My problem used to be trying to think of what I wanted to say next while the person was still talking. My background in sales always had me trying to close the deal. By truly understanding someone elses needs, you can then determine whether or not you can supply a solution. As a consultant, there are many times that my services are not a good fit for that particular prospect. Once you move away from a pure sales approach to one of a problem solver, you will have greater success all the way around
     
  8. deepak_sharma

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    Ya its ture , for successful running of one's business it's mandatory that he should be a good listner. If you are not a good listner than your customer could feel that you are not paying him attention then why should he deal with you.
     
  9. jigyasa

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    I think along with customers and private businesses, listening is the core of every aspect of life. From personal relationships to jobs to even recreation, listening forms the core. Dialogue is called so because it involves two people, one talking and the other listening at a time.
     
  10. Fergal

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    I've been there myself and doing that is a pretty good way of ensuring that you say the wrong thing or have nothing useful to say, when the other person is finished talking. It is much, much better to listen in a relaxed manner while focusing first on understanding the other person.
     
  11. djschwab

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    Just like any other skill, good listening takes practice. Next time you are listening to someone talk, try and block all other thoughts and distractions out and focus on the what the that person is really saying. You will be amazed how much more information you are able to retain.
     
  12. Fergal

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    You're absolutely right, attention is the greatest part of memory. Very often the reason we can't remember what someone said, is because we didn't listen to them attentively, in the first place.
     
  13. djschwab

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    You have to be able to shut out distractions, especially your own thoughts, when you are truly listening to someone. It is not always easy to do, as your first tendency is to answer and respond to them right away. Always wait until someone stops talking, before you answer them.
     
  14. Nazreen

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    Aside from shutting down distractions including your thoughts, good listeners should also maintain good eye contact. One of the worst thing you can do when talking to someone is to look elsewhere. Avoid looking at other people walking or other things that are going around us and never look at the clock or your watch. An exception to the rule of maintaining good eye contact is only when you have a truly menacing look. If this is the case, you still need to look at your speaking partner though from time to time.
     
  15. Kay

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    Ah, me too! In fact, my husband and I found this a real difficulty when we first got together. I was used to fast talking Scots where if you can't get a word in edgeways, you don't get it in at all. He's a Southern gentleman where every second word is punctuated with a pause. The Southern drawl sounded so slow to me I was always trying to jump in the gaps because I thought he was finished! :rolleyes: I'm better now though...a bit. :D

    An interesting point there on focusing your complete attention on someone talking. I'm guilty of getting absorbed in what I'm working on and not hearing anyone talk to me at home. With a client, you simply can't afford to make that mistake. Don't try keeping one eye on your pc to see if you have mail - you'll miss half of what you could be learning about them and their business.
     
  16. Nazreen

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    I was just reading some famous quotes and came across this particular quote that applies in learning how to listen.

    I should say that I'm also guilty of this bad habit of "waiting to speak" that I really don't know what the other person is telling me. We should try to break this habit so the world will have fewer misunderstandings and be more productive.
     
  17. scifi

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    Listening is not only a skill but it is an art too, only few people make use of!!!
    Well listening not only involves paying attention to what other people is saying but also understanding what the speaker intends to say or convey!!!!
    It can be learned to some extent But I think it is more of a process which must be evolved by developing it through your own experience....
     
  18. Nazreen

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    There are a lot of benefits that effective listening can do and it's good to know these so that we'll also be motivated to learn how to listen. These are:

    • Generates Respect - First and foremost would be that listening generates respect between talker and listener and vice versa. The act of listening in itself shows that the listener respects the talker.
    • Better Accuracy - With better understanding of what the talker is saying, this will result in fewer mis-communications and fewer mistakes.
    • Better Productivity - With fewer mistakes, productivity increases. At the same time, with better understanding of problems and issues, the faster it is to come up with solutions.
    • Better understanding and cooler heads - In focusing on listening, there will be better understanding between talker and listener and at the same time, they'll be more able to stay calm.
     
  19. Nazreen

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    I think that we should also differentiate between eavesdropping and listening. According to Answers.com, eavesdropping is the act of surreptitiously listening to a private conversation. This is totally different from listening because when you eavesdrop, you have a hidden agenda or ulterior motive in mind. You would have already have made some assumptions so would only you want to listen to what you want to hear. This is totally different from truly listening. To truly listen, you must really listen to what's being said and not just the things that you want to hear.
     
  20. IndianapolisSeo.com

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    I definitely think listening is a great asset to have. You can learn so much more about life, people, business, if you just take the time to listen. thanks.
     

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