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How to be a great listener

A chapter from "Idiot's Guides, PEOPLE SKILLS"

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How to be a great listener

  1. 1. Dr. Yahya K. Mohammed Ali Medical Adviser and Trainer Qualified Pharma. * Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  2. 2. * *Everyone wants to talk; few have the wisdom or the skills to listen. *The skill that makes people feel you’re a great conversationalist is listening. *Listening is one of the most valuable skills you can develop if you want to be effective in dealing with people. Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  3. 3. * *Listening skills are effective game-changers with people of any age—from teenagers to octogenarians! *Few people achieve this level of expertise in listening. It’s a skill that will draw people to you and make them find value in being with you. Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  4. 4. * *Family and friends. Listening more and talking less is the most effective strategy to avoid breaks in these relationships. You will become the go-to friend if you’re quick to listen rather than quick to give advice. *Your boss. Listening carefully to your boss before taking action is wise. It is better to understand her vision fully and to prove that you heard her than to give a fast response that may slightly miss the mark and disappoint her. Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  5. 5. * *Your customers or others you serve. Customers often say that it is not the failed product or service that angers them—it’s that they didn’t feel the employee listened to what they said. *Strangers and acquaintances. Until you know someone better, you don’t know what will motivate, interest, or even offend them. Spend time listening while in the getting-to-know-you phase. Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  6. 6. * The Do’s of Listening Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  7. 7. * *The most important sign of listening has nothing to do with your ears, but with your eyes! Great eye contact is a must. *make listening noises. Ah, uh-huh, and mmm. Subvocals are a powerful secret weapon in demonstrating that you’re a responsive and caring listener. *Paraphrasing and repeating: People love to hear their own words and comments coming back to them *Body language, particularly your facial expressions Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  8. 8. * *Be sure to take notes to capture facts and further demonstrate that you’re paying close attention. *Keep your remarks brief and ask questions. Asking a question says to conversation partners, “You are so interesting and what you’re saying is so important that I want to know even more.” Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  9. 9. * The Don’ts of Listening Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  10. 10. * *Don’t fiddle with pen or papers, or use any distracting gestures while you’re listening. *Don’t relate everything to yourself. “The same thing happened to me one time …” or “That’s just like my old boss, he …” *Don’t constantly check your phone or other electronic device. *Don’t be guilty of clipping. Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  11. 11. * *Don’t abruptly change topics when someone is talking to you. This is like leapfrogging from one lily pad to the next. Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  12. 12. * *Be sure to use the speaker’s name as frequently as comfortable *Whenever people approach or call, smile and greet them warmly. (Yes, smile on the phone. People can “hear” a smile.) *Practice the art of embracing interruptions. *When the conversation is over, say thank you verbally * Call a few days later to see how a situation turned out. Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  13. 13. Developing the Power of the Pause * Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  14. 14. * *When your conversation partner says her last syllable, wait one or two seconds before you begin speaking. *In many cases, she hasn’t really said all she wanted to say! *We jump in because we have been scriptwriting. *Scriptwriting is the habit of thinking of what you want to say next while your partner is still talking. Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  15. 15. * *Your partner will think you have found what she says worthy of mulling over for a second or two. *When you begin speaking again, your partner will feel you have first listened to what she had to say and will listen more attentively to you in return. *Pausing feels awkward at first, but stick with it. Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  16. 16. The Art of Responding * Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  17. 17. * *Respond to whatever is said, even if it appears not to require a response. *Most of the time, when your boss or your spouse accuses you of not listening, what they really mean is you didn’t respond in a way that proved you were listening. *I understand; I’m sorry; I can help you …; I understand you’re upset and frightened, but …; I don’t know, but I can find out; and let me help you. Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  18. 18. * *One of the best responses is the open question. You encourage the speaker to go on talking and tell you even more. *How did that come about? * Tell me about … *Describe … *Would you like to talk about it? *Let’s discuss it … Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  19. 19. * Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  20. 20. * *You cannot be a great listener if you only deal with the facts of a conversation and not the feelings. *Every conversation operates on two planes at all times: the text and the subtext. *have you heard people say “I don’t mind” or “I would be glad to” when they actually sound as if they mind very much and are not at all glad? Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  21. 21. * *Empathy is the intellectual identification with experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. *our brains actually experience what others experience. When someone smiles at us, we spontaneously smile. When someone screams in pain, we cringe. *Demonstrating empathy means you show your partner that you feel her pain Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  22. 22. * *You can also show empathy when you acknowledge the joy someone takes in her accomplishment *The hilarity someone felt when she viewed her toddler doing something funny *The emotions are of equal or greater importance than the facts, so be sure to include both in your response. Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  23. 23. * *Empathy statements are not difficult once you practice *You must be feeling very (FEELING WORD) (Examples: frustrated, disappointed, excited, upset, overjoyed, let down). *Because (SUMMARIZE THE SITUATION) (Examples: you don’t have an answer yet; you won; I was late; this will be expensive). Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  24. 24. * *“You must be feeling frustrated because no one consulted you before moving forward.” *It doesn’t matter if you guess the feeling word exactly right. In fact, in many cases, the other person loves to come back and change your feeling word like this: *“Well, not exactly frustrated but certainly doubtful about what to do next.” Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  25. 25. * *Be careful not to choose feeling words that, although accurate, might be unflattering to the speaker. *Although true, you wouldn’t tell the speaker in the preceding example that she must feel “threatened,” “petty,” or “snubbed.” *No matter how you phrase empathy, your conversation partners will appreciate your trying Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  26. 26. * *Be careful not to choose feeling words that, although accurate, might be unflattering to the speaker. *Although true, you wouldn’t tell the speaker in the preceding example that she must feel “threatened,” “petty,” or “snubbed.” *No matter how you phrase empathy, your conversation partners will appreciate your trying Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  27. 27. * Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  28. 28. * *Listening skills can completely change the relationship dynamics with anyone, from teenagers to octogenarians. *Paraphrasing give evidence that you have listened. *Avoid clipping, or jumping in as soon as your partner says her last syllable. *Don’t underestimate the power of a pause after your partner speaks. *Responding is even more important than listening, as it makes your partner feel listened to. *Empathy statements must acknowledge the underlying feelings, as well as the facts of what was said. Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
  29. 29. * Yahya K. Mohammed Ali
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    Dec. 13, 2017

A chapter from "Idiot's Guides, PEOPLE SKILLS"

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