Sputnik Magazine | Spring 2013

Issue link: http://e-delivery.uberflip.com/i/116068

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Page 5 of 23

3 Tips For better Listening To build rapport with coworkers, clients and customers, we're told we must be 'good listeners.' We must pay attention to what they're saying and respond to their needs. But what does it really mean to be a good listener? Listening is one of those traits that's being steamrolled by technology. So many of our 'conversations' are becoming electronic that we're losing the ability to listen. Truly listening to, and understanding, someone else requires just as much proactive engagement as speechifying—maybe more. Over the years we've observed that good listeners set themselves apart with key habits. These behaviours come naturally to some, but they can be practiced or developed by anyone. Here's our top three tips... 1 Be fully attentive To listen well, clear distractions. One common trait of all good listeners is that they make you feel like they have the time, attention, and focus to deal with the conversation directly in front of them. 2 Use the 80/20 rule In an advisory or management capacity, seek to listen 80% and speak 20% of the time. Of course, there are instances when the 80/20 rule is not practical, but it still can act as a reliable self-awareness monitor. It's an easy indicator of whether you're really listening or not. 3 Absorb before editorializing It's human nature to be awed by our own brilliance. Before you give your ideas, be sure you've heard theirs. Don't try to fix things too early. The great paradox is that the less you talk, the more brilliant you become!

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