Are You Listening?
How much time do you spend listening versus talking?
I don't just mean in sales situations, but even in personal conversations.
What's your sense of the split? 50/50? 60/40? 20/80?
Let's say you think you're a good listener. Take it one step further: of the time you spend listening, how much of that time is spent waiting to make your next point, to share your next story, air your next grievance?
Now, what's your sense of the true split?
I'm guessing we've all been in situations where we've met people - for work, for pleasure, people we hang out with, people we haven't seen in a long while - and for about 90% of the conversation, we've been listening to the other person talk. What's your impression of those folks?
I'm guessing not all that great.
The thing is, real listening is critical. And it stems from a genuine interest in the other person.
Not asking questions to be polite, but genuinely looking to learn about the other person.
Not using the discussion as a pulpit for your ideas (unless you're being paid to do so).
Real listening is about putting aside your agendas to "get" what the other person is about.
Real listening is about caring.
Real listening drives relationships forward.