Top Ten (Top 10) Tips for Effective Listening for Greater
Success and Influence
Dr Philip Humbert
Whether it's our spouse, our children, or with a sales prospect or our boss, one of
life's great challenges is to listen well. Often, we are tempted to think about our
response rather than listen. Or, we believe we already know what the other person is going
to say, so we simply interrupt or wait impatiently for our turn. Listening, really
listening, with our whole being, is a skill and one of the most important compliments we
can give another human being. The following 10 "rules" can help.
1. Stop Talking! It is
difficult to listen and speak at the same time.
2. Put the other person at ease.
Give them space and time and "permission" to speak their peace.
How we look at them, how we stand or sit, makes a huge difference. Relax, and let
them relax as well.
3. Show the other person that you want
to hear them. Look at them. Nod when you can agree, ask them to explain further
if you don't understand. Listen to understand them and their words, rather than just for
4. Remove distractions. Good
listening means being willing to turn off the TV, close a door, or stop reading your mail.
Give the speaker your full attention, and let them know they are getting your full
5. Empathize with the other person.
Especially if they are telling you something personal or painful, or something
you intensely disagree with, take a moment to stand in their shoes, to look at the
situation from their point of view.
6. Be patient. Some people
take longer to find the right word, to make a point or clarify an issue. Give the speaker
time to get it all out before you jump in with your reply.
7. Watch your own emotions. If
what they are saying creates an emotional response in you, be extra careful to listen
carefully, with attention to the intent and full meaning of their words. When we are
angry, frightened or upset, we often miss critical parts of what is being said to us.
8. Be very slow to disagree, criticize
or argue. Even if you disagree, let them have their point of view. If you
respond in a way that makes the other person defensive, even if you "win" the
argument, you may lose something far more valuable!
9. Ask lots of questions. Ask
the speaker to clarify, to say more, give an example, or explain further. It will help
them speak more precisely and it will help you hear and understand them more accurately.
10. STOP TALKING! This is
both the first and the last point, because all other tools depend on it. Nature gave us
two ears and only one tongue, which is a gentle hint that we should listen twice as much
as we talk.
By Dr Philip E. Humbert, author, speaker and
personal success coach. Dr Humbert has hundreds of tips, tools and
articles on his website that you can use for your own success! It's a
great resource! Visit him on the web at: www.philiphumbert.com And,
be sure to sign up for his great newsletter!