Do we really listen?

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We all know that listening is one of the keys to building relationships and winning work. But do we really listen?

Here are 5 tips to listening that will help:

  1. Ditch the distractions – you cannot multitask. If you try to multitask the other person will most likely feel insulted and you certainly won’t hear and observe everything you should
  2. Use your whole body, lean towards the speaker – even on the phone. Use facial expressions, shake your head, and use “non-verbal” verbalisms. It improves your listening – and indicates you are listening
  3. Keep it about them, not you. Use open-ended questions and let them tell their story. Don’t use them as foils for your hypotheses
  4. Acknowledge frequently – paraphrase their data and empathise with their emotions. Make sure you are hearing both correctly
  5. Think out loud. The biggest obstacle to listening is your own thinking. Think out loud – with the client. Doing so role-models collaboration and transparency. It says, I hear you, I value you and I respond to you with no hidden agenda.

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