Tag Archives: Listening Skills

Leadership Secret Weapon Series: Do’s and Don’ts of Listening

Integrating the Empathic Listening techniques into your conversation and daily situations is something that takes practice. Here are some great Do’s and Don’ts to help in increasing your effective listening skills.

 

10 Do’s of Listening

 

 

1)      Be patient

2)      Take brief notes of key points

3)      Offer verbal encouragement

4)      Read between the lines for emotional messages

5)      Allow for periods of silence

6)      Let the person complete his/her thought

7)      Ask questions to clarify understanding

8)      Choose to understand the person by looking for their feelings and good intentions

9)      Summarize what has been covered

10)  Assume you have not understood everything correctly

 

 

10 Don’ts of Listening

 

 

1)      Don’t half listen, filter or selectively listen

2)      Don’t make assumptions regarding what the person meant to say

3)      Don’t jump to conclusions

4)      Don’t be too eager to talk about your recommendation

5)      Don’t agree too readily until you have heard the individual out

6)      Don’t interrupt the person

7)      Don’t finish the person’s sentences

8)      Don’t take so many notes that you lose the meaning of the dialogue

9)      Don’t judge the other person

10)  Don’t complete other tasks while you are listening to the person on the phone or in person

 

Remember:

“A good listener tries to understand thoroughly what the other person is saying.  In the end he may disagree sharply, but before he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with.”

~ Kenneth A. Wells

 

Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people.  www.loyaltyfactor.com

Leadership Secret Weapon Series: Empathetic Listening Techniques

What most people don’t realize is that listening consists of 40% of our total communications. Talking is approximately 35% and reading is 16%, while 9% is writing. Although you listen most of the time, the average listening efficiency is only at 25%. That means 75% of all our communications are misinterpreted.  

 

Let’s take a few minutes to evaluate effective listening skills.

 

There are various levels of listening. The first one tends to be the Ignoring stage. The next stage is where people Pretend to listen. Thirdly, there is Selective listening. Active and Attentive listening is next, with the highest level of listening is Empathetic listening.

 

Ignoring, pretending and selective are within our own frame of reference. We choose how we are going to listen. Are we going to pretend? Are we going to selectively listen for specific words and information that is important to us? Or are we going to ignore all together?

 

The active and attentive listening level is where we listen for the words and the content. The most important level of listening is empathetic listening where we also understand the feelings and emotions of the other person. When we are in the fourth and fifth levels of listening, we are listening for the other person’s frame of reference and trying to get out of our own history and judging tendencies to truly get a deeper understanding of what the other person’s view point is.

 

Integrating empathetic listening techniques into our conversations is how we create stronger connections with the other person and establish a sense of respect with the other person.

 

 

 

 

 

Primary Steps for Effective Empathetic Listening:

 

1.  Identify the feelings and positive intentions of the other person.

For example: “It sounds like you are really upset,” “I sense that you are very upset about the situation,” or “I hear the frustration in your voice.”

 

2. Once you have identified the feelings and positive intentions of the other person, the emotion disappears. It is then important for you to provide a helpful transition statement so the person knows you are fully committed to them and their success.

For example: “I am committed to working with you to reach your success,” or “If I were you I would I would feel the same way, and am committed to working towards successful resolution.”

 

3. The third step is to test the solution and ask a question to link back to the emotion.

For example: “If we were to do __________, would that reduce your frustration?” or “What other things can we do to reduce your frustration?

 

Using these techniques, it is astonishing how discussions which seem insoluble become soluble; confusions which seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams and rapport and respect are developed.

 

Give the process a try, and let us know how it works for you!

 

Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people.  www.loyaltyfactor.com