Listening is one of the greatest gifts we can give to someone. We all have a desire to be heard.
The following 3 steps will help you on your way to becoming a better listener.
- Ask a question and listen. Stop all else. Imagine you’re in a quiet room with only the two of you. Listen for the words and the emotions.
- A great follow up, once the person stops, is to ask for more. Ask them to tell you more. Tell me more, has a way of getting the person to share additional information.
- Lastly, start with “It sounds like…” reflecting back to the person what you think you’ve heard. If you’re correct, they will let you know. If what you heard is not what they said, they will provide additional clarification. Once you’re clear, you can proceed with what’s next.
The purpose for this format, is first to focus on what is being said.
Second, knowing you’re going to repeat what they said, holds you accountable to listening.
Third, reflecting helps the person know they’ve been heard. When a good listener repeats to you what you’ve said, you take notice of what you’re saying and how it sounds.
It creates an environment for self-awareness.
Have you ever had a meeting where if felt as though no one was listening?
- How did it feel?
- Did you leave the meeting feeling as though nothing was accomplished?
With a skilled listener in the room, meetings become more effective.
Family discussions lead to understanding.
Learning to listen is an incredibly powerful communication skill. A skilled listener is someone you want to engage with.
You seek their guidance, knowing it comes from having heard you. Great leaders are great listeners.
If there’s one skill you choose to learn, learn to listen.