Listen More Effectively
Many messages are being communicated during our current economic downturn, so listening and discerning what is behind messages is critical,” points out Teri Bosley, president of Monarch Performance Group, LLC (Auburn Hills, Michigan). “Furthermore, how you craft your message so that what you intend to convey is heard becomes even more important now. Think about what people are listening for—what will catch their attention and garner their interest?”
Listening is how we learn. Listening skills are a critical communication component of needs-based selling, rendering exceptional service, resolving complaints, and interacting with peers or team members. Listening is also a powerful tool for calming fears. In recent weeks, many financial institutions have been faced with...
Five Key Concepts
Effective listening is the ability to clearly understand the intended message of the communicator. The listener is able to accurately process the words, tone, and body language that the speaker is communicating and translate the message as intended.
“An important nuance with this definition is that often there is incongruence between a person's words and their tone/body language,” Bosley says. “Effective listeners work to reduce the ambiguity this presents by asking clarifying or probing questions and summarizing to fully understand the intent and the message.”
Sometimes people think they appear “smarter” because they talk a lot, whereas on most occasions talking less and listening more allows you to structure your message, so that you are more efficient and effective. To listen more effectively, Bosley recommends:
Research reveals that 55% of communication comes from body language, 38% from the tone of voice and a mere 7% from the actual spoken words. Hence the saying “it's not what he/she said but how they said it.” What does your listener “hear” from your body language? Is it congruent with your words? Are you listening beyond words?
Lana J. Chandler is the publisher of Branch Manager's Letter. Reprinted with permission.
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