Did you know that one of the most important skills that people in marketing and sales professions can develop is their listening skills? Why you might ask? Well, the answer is quite simple; good listening skills will lead directly to better customer satisfaction, greater productivity and more creativity and innovation in the workplace.
There is a big difference between listening and hearing; listening is much harder work. In order to really listen, you need to not only pay attention to what is being said, but how it is told, the language and voice that is being used and very importantly the non-verbal body language that is being displayed.
Here are 5 principals of effective listening that can help hone your skills:
STOP TALKING, AND BE PREPARED TO LISTEN
Only talk when the speaker is finished talking. To be an effective listener, you must try not to interrupt or talk over others, but rather focus on the speaker both physically and mentally. That means put your phone away!
PUT THE SPEAKER AT EASE
Maintaining eye contact, nodding and gestures or words of encouragement will show that you are interested and understand what is being said. These small actions will encourage the speaker to continue. Be patient if the speaker pauses and resist the urge to jump in or finish their sentence. Often a pause is time taken for the speaker to organize their thoughts.
KEEP AN OPEN MIND
Try to look at the issues from the other persons point of view and perspective. If you disagree, wait until they are finished to give your constructive and logical argument.
PAY ATTENTION TO TONE
Volume and tone can communicate the emotions of the speaker. When they are passionate about what they are saying, it should reflect in their tone. If their tone and words are not in tune, it may be a red flag.
BE AWARE OF NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION
Non-verbal gestures, facial expressions and eye movements of a speaker say a lot. A good listener can get as much out of a conversation by what is not being said as they can from what is.
At Y5 Creative, we love to listen. Give us a call at 778-379-2177 to see what we can do for you.