Listening – The Lost Art – Part 2

A meaningful conversation is not a highly competitive tennis match. It’s not about who scores more points. It is not an opportunity to pontificate — to show off. If there is a goal to listening, it is to learn as much as you can about the other person.

me me me cartoon-2

Most people would rather talk than listen. The talkers need to be in control and the center of attention. Instead, entering a conversation should begin with you recognizing that you have something to learn. Set aside your ego, and let go of your personal opinions and biases. Go into a conversation knowing that there’s something interesting about the other person. Everyone is an expert about something and very possibly knows something you don’t know.

Being mindful and fully present in the moment with no mental multitasking will show your genuine expectation in your eyes and body. — Mind voice and body in sync — In other words listen to what the person is saying instead of planning what you’re going to say next.

Use the who, what, when, where, why and how approach to open dialog. Then lead them to describe their feelings about the answers they provide. Refrain from asking a complicated question because you’ll get a simple answer. Your goal is to draw out a personal response. For example “Why are you doing what you do?” “What led you to do what you do?” “What are you trying to accomplish?”

me me me cartoonDon’t design questions to make you look erudite, cool or funny. Ask questions to show you are interested instead of interesting. People need to feel valued. They need to know they matter to you. They need to know they are important.

The basic concept for being a good listener is to be brief, be interested in others and be mindful.

Blumsack Brown BackgroundAs a coach, trainer and consultant, Larry Blumsack partners with people and organizations on the move and those already there to accelerate their communication, presentation and speaking skills to be on par with their ambition. Through one-on-one coaching and group training Larry helps leaders and aspiring leaders elevate their presence and communication skills to influence more people, sell more products-services-ideas and inspire others more successfully than they ever imagined.

Larry is the bestselling author of Face-to-Face is The Ultimate Social Media and founder of Zoka Institute and Zoka Training®. Zoka Training® — Mind/Voice/Body/Mindfulness in sync — is the result of Larry’s 45 years as a coach, acting teacher, actor, voice-over artist, theater and TV director/producer, radio & TV commentator and show host, speaker, trainer, serial entrepreneur, and syndicated columnist. Larry was a founding member of the theater department at Northeastern University.

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