One of the most critical pieces of the communication process is listening. To set yourself apart from others and to get further faster, take the time to listen. Why do people have such difficulty with listening? First, the mind thinks at about 1,000 words per minute and the average person speaks at 250 words per minute leaving the listener with the opportunity to have their mind wander, become unfocused or more often than not – get ready to say what they want to say next and they stop listening.
The skills required include discipline, focus, concentration and respect of the other party with whom you are communicating. The discipline factor includes stopping yourself from thinking of what to say next. Use the technique of pausing before you speak to slow down the pace of the conversations. Ask for clarification of what was said. Rephrase what you believe you heard them say. Focus on the person you are speaking with. Look in their eyes, watch their lips, and observe their body language to help you better understand what they are saying. Concentrate on the speaker and ask if it is OK to take notes so you can be clear on what is being said to you. Rephrase what you believe was said and ask for clarification of what you repeat is correct. Respect the other person by watching them when they speak. It has been said that communication is 7% of what you say, 38% is your body language when you say it and 55% is the tonality which is used to say it. Therefore, you must be an active participant when listening to others and pay attention to the verbal and non verbal pieces of communication to excel at listening.
Set yourself apart by improving this one piece of the communication puzzle – listening and you will see your business improve. Get it? Got it? Good!
Now, go sell something!