People who truly listen understand its effectiveness. Listening expands your knowledge, helps solve problems, aids in negotiations, reduces mistakes or misunderstandings, and can enhance relationships in both your personal and professional life.
The Key to Understanding
To be better understood, first listen. After you truly listen to someone, they are much more likely to return the favor and listen more intently to you. Think about it— the person you would tell your innermost secrets is someone you know well and trust, someone with whom you have built a relationship through open communication. When you listen actively and effectively, you are respecting the other person, and showing that you are listening and understanding the message, through the words you use, the tone of your voice, your gestures and expressions—your body language.
The best place to start listening effectively is with yourself, being aware of your own thoughts. By listening to yourself you can detect certain words or phrases in your thoughts that can indicate how you feel in a given situation, and to determine whether your reaction is the most appropriate or if there could be a reaction that is better for you and for those around you. I have to say, I talk to myself and listen first sometimes before speaking aloud.
My job is in sales— it has been since the start of my career. I love to listen to people, and help them resolve questions regarding products pertaining to their health!
Connect Through Communication
By listening effectively you can understand other people— what motivates them, what concerns them, and how the subject they are talking about affects them. It is the best way of exploring every angle of human nature. In order to motivate, persuade, and inform other people, to be able to work effectively as a team, it is essential not only to speak but to listen.
Listen with an open mind; be aware of your own preconceived notions to avoid generalizations that may not serve the message. Listen with empathy, put yourself in their shoes. Do not listen with the intent to respond, but rather to understand. Be patient.
Open your ears to each other. Everyone has something to say…if you listen!