How To Improve Your Listening Skills
“Talk to the hand, because the ears ain’t listening.”
Do you ever feel like saying “talk to the hand the ears aren’t listening”?
Perhaps you have said it?
Do you ever feel people are implying this when you are talking?
Consider for a moment what do you hear and see that infers that someone else can’t be bothered to hear what you have say?
How do you know they have made up their mind already?
Have you ever caught yourself presuming you won’t like what someone has to day before you have even heard it?
These assumptions are often what is holding many of us back from listening at our best.
When you don’t listen effectively your behaviour can be interpreted as a lack of respect, or you don;t think they are important enough.
Then what happens to harmony, efficiency and productivity?
There is a big difference between hearing/listening and actually understanding.
So how can you improve the way you listen?
One way is to ask questions and focus your attention on what is being said.
Many of our clients including our wonderful PA Lynda who often provides us with inspiration for our blogs, have been experimenting with the question – “What would you like to have happen?”
Here are some variation Lynda has tried:
“What would you like to have happen in this situation …?
“What would you like to have happen next …?
“What would you like to have happen now that you know this?”
Asking this kind of question gives the person the opportunity to respond openly and honestly, rather than perhaps saying what they think you want to hear. Many clients have experimented using this question at the bottom of their marketing emails.
They have reported that they have seen a drastic increase in response rate. One client reported an increase from 26% to 75% more people sent a response to her emails.
This is just one of the carefully crafted Clean Language questions designed by David Grove
Here are a few more questions you can try next time you want to demonstrate more effective listening skills.
Is there anything else about ….?
What kind of … is that …?
Where could … come from?
What happens just before? What happens next?
What kind of….is that….? Is there anything else about…?
Thank you for listening.
Ros and Sheryl
About The Authors
Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening and mum of a blended family of 5 children, is well known for her fast speaking and highly motivational passion to help others achieve. She is also no stranger to challenging conversations, lapses in self belief and moments of an overwhelming sense of not being enough. On the outside to everyone else you might have thought all was okay but how she was feeling inside was often a different story.
That was until 2008 when she discovered the work of David Grove and was introduced to Clean Language. This solution focused questioning technique gave her the tools she needed to learn how to listen which resulted in increased client retention and referrals and the development of this international business. Sheryl has also used these tools to home school her youngest and manage her family through their teens supported by her husband Mark Andrews who is also a certified clean language facilitator.
Ros Bristow Co- Founder, mum of 3 daughters and a grandmother is a women of immense strength and compassion. Desperate to get help for her teenage daughters she took the courageous decision to spend thousands of pounds to send her daughters to the other side of the world to attend a wilderness development programme in Colorado USA. Despite this amazing intervention and the respite this programme gave her she still felt she lacked the skills personally to manage herself and her family long term. With this in mind Ros trained as a coach which helped her develop strategies to be more assertive and stronger. But still something was missing. This is when Ros approached Sheryl and started as a client with Step by Step Listening in 2010 to develop the skills to listen and empower change in her family.
Ros was keen to get her own house in order and has always had a driving passion to provide families with the communication tools that can prevent the suffering her and her family endured. As Sheryl coached and mentored her to develop this business idea it soon became apparent that Ros was developing processes that added value to the existing Step by Step Listening concept. Ros formally joined the company in 2012 and together they have developed “The 10 principles of Step by Step Listening”. Simple, effective and easy to adopt concepts that increase harmony, efficiency and productivity.
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