Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Are you listening?

Think about hearing. Unless you're deaf you can't not hear. You can ignore, but you can't avoid hearing.

Now think about listening. You hear constantly, but how often do you actually absorb what is said and respond to the meaning of what was said instead reacting to what was heard.

Reacting to what you hear takes you down a path of failure as what is said may not be what is meant. In my previous post, I talked about selling your ideas to specific individuals instead of generic people. Individuals won't always reveal their true intentions in their words. instead tone, inflection and context are key to understanding exactly what your audience is feeding back to you.

If you are listening, a successful meeting should follow this pattern - question, listen, question, listen, provide specific information, listen for feedback, question, listen, question, listen, provide specific information, agree on a next step (hold a press conference, sign a contract, hire a new employee, etc.).

3 comments:

Patti said...

Well said, Hamish! Listening is an art and when practiced allows the speaker to feel valued, especially when you are able to convey back to them clarity in the meaning they were hoping to express.

Patti at:
www.strategicsenseinc.com

TJ The Food Dude said...

Absolutely agree with you Hamish. I am reading a book called "The Power of Now" and interestingly enough, much of the time all you need to do is make sure you are focusing on the here and now when with a client, not on where you want to be ie. closing the sale, going to the next meeting, telling them the next thing you KNOW they should hear, thinking about your BB vibrating and wondering who it is. Make sure the only thing that exists at the time of the meeting is your client and your client only and the listening comes naturally.

Hamish Knox said...

Thank you both for your comments. This blog is only as good as this discussions it starts.