Can You Hear Me Now
Do you find yourself partially listening, letting your mind drift, and/or formulating your response even before the other person has finished what they are saying? If so, active listening might be the answer to better your communication skills.
Very few people in this world take the time to practice listening. Author Maribeth Kuzmeski suggests that Curious Listening, which is a form of active listening, can differentiate you as someone who really cares.”
Here are the four steps of Curious Listening:
- Hear the essence of what the person (employee or client) is saying by repeating back what you heard.
- Ask questions so that he knows that you are actively seeking to understand why something is important him.
- Make sure you aren't acting on unsubstantiated assumptions. Confirm with that you have correctly understood what he is saying.
- Listen for the “remarkable.” In every conversation you have with an employee or client, he will say something unique and remarkable. If you listen for his “remarkable,” you will be able to come back to that later (even in a subsequent conversation) and connect with him on a different level. The “remarkable” may be something as simple as, “I’m thinking about taking an October vacation to Paris,” or, “I’m a Packers fan,” or, “We just landed our largest client!” The key is remembering it. It shows you are really curious about what happened, how the other person feels, and what resolution was reached.
Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing, LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. Maribeth has personally consulted with some of the world’s most successful CEOs, entrepreneurs, and professionals. An internationally recognized speaker, she shares the tactics that businesspeople use today to create more sustainable business relationships, sales, and marketing successes. Maribeth is the author of four books, including The Connectors: How the World’s Most Successful Businesspeople Build Relationships and Win Clients for Life. (Wiley, September 2009, ISBN: 978-0-470-48818-8, $22.95)- available at bookstores nationwide, major online booksellers, or directly from the publisher by calling 800-225-5945. In Canada, call 800-567-4797. www.redzonemarketing.com; www.theconnectorsbook.com.