Do you hear? Or do you listen?
The difference could be the key to your success!
Have you noticed how our ‘world’ is increasingly full of ‘noise’?
How it is getting harder to filter out only the information you really need?
Well, developing your listening skills might just be what you need to be more selective in which information you pick out from the ‘noise’, how completely you communicate (especially beneficial with your customers), and how you can significantly enhance the success of your business and personal relationships.
So, how well do you actually listen? Would you say you are a ‘good listener’?
Most people say yes to the latter. Yet, when was the last time you were really, properly listened to?
Listening is something we all believe we are, or can be good at. But, even though it is one of the most important skills to develop, it takes a great deal of skill and practice to do well – and genuinely good listeners are not as common as we hope, are they?
Just reflect for a moment what it feels like to be genuinely listened to. Good isn’t it?
If any of you have received any coaching, the chances are you will have experienced good listening at first hand – as long as your coach is professionally qualified, that is! (Professional coaching qualifications include listening skills development and assessment).
So, if genuine listening is so important to virtually all aspects of our lives, why do so many wish we were listened to ‘better’?
Basically, it’s because we all identify with listening, but listening skills development is rarely experienced, and most people don’t realise how good (or poor!) their listening actually is.
To turn your listening from good to great, here are three of the ‘main’ listening styled for you to practice:
Level 1 Listening – often termed ‘me too’, or ‘internal’ listening
- Where the listener is relating how the words of the speaker are relevant to themselves and their own experiences
- Focus is on the listener, not the speaker – listener concentrates on and ‘looks’ at themselves
- It’s all about the listener – what’s going on around them, their own judgements, feelings, etc
- It’s the listening level for the speaker where they are giving out information on themselves, own experiences, issues
- Indication of Level 1 Listening is when you’re seeking more information – answers, explanations, data
- Level 1 Listening is when you listen to your ‘self-talk’ – hearing oneself saying “I knew that!” to oneself, implies Level 1 Listening is occurring
Level 2 Listening – often termed ‘attentive’, or ‘focused’ listening
- Where the listener is actively concentrating on the speaker and what they are saying, and little attention is paid to the surroundings or ‘outside world’
- The listener is not concerned with their own experiences, thoughts, feelings, or opinions
- There is no impact from the listener’s self-talk
- The listener is able to detect the ‘wider message’ from the speaker – picking up their emotions, tone, intonation and pace of their voice, and expression
- At this level, the listener is more able to receive the energy and information from the client, and reflect it back without taking anything from it
- At this Level, the listener is more able to respond in a manner that will be conducive to relationship development, and be able to receive the impact of their response to the speaker, and collect the information from the speaker’s reaction, which will, in turn, allow the listener to provide greater impact/benefit for the speaker
Level 3 Listening – often termed ‘global’, or ‘intuitive’ listening
- Where the listener is able to listen as if they and the speaker are at the centre of their ‘universe’ in a ‘complete’ listening environment
- The listener collects information from all directions, using all of their senses as detectors, at once
- The listener is so ‘in tune’ with the speaker and this listening environment that they can use all of their senses – hearing, sight, smell, etc – and allow their intuition to raise their awareness of the ‘complete’ picture that the speaker is bringing to the conversation
- A competent listener switches between Level 2 and Level 3 Listening to ensure a complete ‘picture’ of the conversation, as this permits a full, 360° view of it and facilitates the most beneficial listening and thinking environment
Give them some practice with everyone you meet, and see what a difference they make.
Please let me know how you get on!
To find out more about how I work with business executives, leaders and owners to maximise their potential and success, and the benefits of professional executive coaching and mentoring, particularly in developing leadership, strategy and growing a business, please contact me:
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© Adrian Malpass 2015-17. All rights reserved.