Charting My Course

Working with professional service providers and small business owners who want to do a better job
marketing themselves and their services.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Lost Art of Listening

I remember sitting under the shade tree at my grandmother’s house and having casual conversation about nothing in particular. Sometimes it was lively conversation and sometimes it was just talking about the weather. In both cases there were people listening and there were people talking but not at the same time. It was a two way conversation. One person listened while the other person talked.

Now let’s move up to the present. I am having a “conversation” with a friend of mine. I am listening and he is talking. There is a pause in the conversation and I start to interject a thought when he starts talking again as if I am not there. If I were not a confident and self-assured person, I may take this personally.

What happened to the art of listening? What happened to talking for a bit and then listening to what the other person has to say. If you watch the talking heads on some of the cable news networks, you will see a barrage of people having conversations. Sometimes having different conversations to each other! What is going on here? Have we become so inconsiderate of other people that we do not deem them to be important enough to listen to without interrupting them with our brilliant thoughts and dialogue.

Being a good listener is absolutely essential to being successful in anything. This is especially true in marketing and selling your services. Listening attentively is a form of respect for the other person. If you are engaging a potential client, being a good listener will take you leaps and bounds ahead of your competitor. It seems very few people posses this valuable asset. I’m not saying everybody, but I am saying some people could use a little improvement in this area.

Here are a few things you can do to be a better listener:

1. Put other thoughts out of your mind and focus on what the person is saying.
2. Shut up and don’t interrupt while the other person is talking.
3. Be mentally and physically ready to listen. If you have an important meeting, make sure you get lots of rest the night before.


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