Strive to Become a Become a Better Listener
The Talmud says that "the highest form of wisdom is kindness". Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for someone is to listen to them. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Below are tips on enhancing your already good listening skills.
- Ask open ended questions.
- Slow down your "thinking rate". We think at 500 words a minute and talk at 150. That’s why our minds can wander. Stay focused.
- Listen for the theme. Listen for the key issues the speaker is giving you.
- Use key words as memory aids. Identify specific words and use them as memory stimulators. For example—something you remember easily-where they are from or where they work.
- Rearrange the information that you hear. Organize it in a way that is logical for you. We are all wired a bit differently and one size does not fit all.
- Take notes. We talk with many people, so we need to write things down to remember them all. I once heard that no matter how sharp your mind is, it is still weaker than the palest ink.
- Keep refining your skills. Active listening is a skill that we go to school on every day.
These tools and techniques may sound simple, however the challenge is in the focused daily execution.
"Create value with every contact, and your business will live forever," says my friend Bill.