Listening Enhances Understanding of Interests
One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears. Good negotiators are good listeners. Listening in itself can become a powerful concession because we all want to be heard. Besides, your patient listening will always pay off because it strengthens relationships and trust.
Authentic Listening builds rapport and trust, uncovers the underlying messages, and sets the stage for you to be heard.
- Have you ever been frustrated because you felt that a point you were trying to make was not getting across? Then finally, the listener understood you. This experience creates a strong alliance with the listener. It also makes it possible for you to hear what the other person is trying to tell you.
What do we pay attention to when we listen?
- 58% body language
- 35% tone of voice
- 7% the words
Why is it difficult to listen?
We speak at 125 words per minute
We can listen to 600-800 words per minute
We think at 2,000 words per minute
Many factors affect our listening and comprehension. What affects yours?
- Background noise/conversations
- Sincerity of interest
- Energy level – time of day; hunger; sugar high
- Pitch of the voice
- Accents different than our own
- Others priorities of the moment
- Arrogance that we know more
- Anxiety about what to say next
- Trustworthiness from our last encounter
- Credibility on the subject
- Listen as an ally. And listen loudly!
Listening Filters also make authentic listening difficult
Listening filters are internal processes that selectively choose certain information to pay attention to, or modify the information to suppress, minimize, and distort reality. Filters are the barriers we erect when listening to others. These barriers prevent us from accurately hearing what is being said.
TOOLS: Listening Filters
|Sees only black & white, win/lose, right/wrong with no middle ground or shades of gray
|Disengages from the conversation and avoids involvement, leading to non-committal attitude and perhaps daydreaming
|Projects feelings and thoughts of self on others. Assumes other people feel the same way they do about events that occur.
|Takes an opposing point of view; is attached to being different for the sake of being different, or arguing for the sake of arguing.
|Nit-picks one small aspect and disregards the whole. Brings up insignificant details and focuses on them to the exclusion of the important facts.
|Writes off the opinion of certain people before they even say anything, due to a bias about them. (“I think you are a jerk so I will disregard everything you say.”) This attitude can be based on personality, position, socio-economic status, looks, gender, race, religious and other known attributes/differences.
|Sees the world as it relates to self. Often brings the conversation back to herself and uses every opportunity to talk about herself. Can top any story told to them with a story about herself.
|Can predict what you are about to say and tends to interrupt and complete your sentences.
|Dear Abby (advice columnist)
|Always has advice, which is given freely and in great detail.
Active Listening Strategies
- Ask questions : Ask many open-ended, Probing questions. Then listen to the entire answer. People love to talk. Let them.
- Value silence , one of the most powerful tools of listening.
- Active listeners : Nod, paraphrase, reflect, show understanding, summarize.
- Entice: Draw the other person out with statements such as,
- "Tell me more about that." "How so?" "Anything else you want to add to that?"
- Body language: After the other person finishes speaking, continue to maintain eye-contact, keep nodding, lean in, say, "Uh, huh."
- Paraphrase : "Let me see if I got this right. What you are saying is…"
- Acknowledge feelings : "Sounds like you are feeling…"
- Sympathize : Show that you understand when you say, "It makes sense to me that you would feel that way, given what you just went through."
- Questions without authentic listening are thinly veiled challenges, judgments, and assertions.
- Challenging questions with authentic listening activates latent power, potential, and collaboration.