Speaking the same language doesn’t always mean you hear.
We hear a lot about the need to improve our communication skills. What you think you have said and what the other person hears is often different.
Speaking the same language doesn’t ensure the same meaning. The difference may be subtle, but the follow-up behaviors, actions, or emotions ignited could range from incorrect to disastrous.
Many misunderstandings in business and personal relationships result in damage to those relationships or taking wrong actions that affect the business. If all commit to becoming better listeners by embracing the notion that our way is not always the best or only way, productive relationships are possible.
Tips on How to Become a Better Listener
Get rid of the idea that you have to be right. If you have an investment in being right, you have already closed down your ability to hear.
Besides, if you are always right, that means the other person is always wrong. Does that compute?
Listen with an open mind. There are a lot of other ideas and perspectives out there. Many of them are good, and some may be better than yours.
Repeat what you heard to make sure you have clearly understood what was said.
Forget about preparing your response. Respond after you listened well. There is nothing wrong with taking your time to think it through before answering.
Express your point of view and feelings honestly and with respect for the listener. These skills take discipline and practice.
Change your mind-set from win-lose to win-win. Think in terms of shared goals, mutual respect, teamwork, accommodation, and compromise.
Suspend the habit of judging what someone says. Just listen. Quiet your mind and focus on hearing what the other says without thinking about your next comeback.
Actively participate by giving positive feedback. State your understanding of what you are hearing, and ask questions when things are not clear.
Be open to options. Get rid of the idea that you must know everything and always be correct. Remember, there is always more than one way to do things. Find ways to synthesize your perspective with those of others.
Conduct brainstorming sessions where all ideas are received without criticism, no matter how absurd they initially sound. Get feedback from everyone on the various options before selecting one option.
Keep the meeting’s goal in mind and do not get sidetracked by ego trips, turf issues, or personalities.
Handle disagreements graciously, without being critical of anyone.
Keep meeting discussions confidential. Do not gossip later about who said what to whom.
Endorse the eventual plan, even if it was not your idea.
Follow through with commitments promptly.
How do you rate?
Will you commit to improving how you listen?
Schedule a free 20-minute “get to know you” session to assure we’re a good fit to improve your listening capabilities.
Call or email me now to get started; I look forward to meeting you.