“Are you talking to me?!?”
by Mary Zierold Holcomb
A successful business leader knows that good listening skills are critical, for
both the employer and the employee. All too often people hear words, but not
the meaning behind them.
The Business Institute provides comprehensive customer
relations and employee management training including active listening skills
development. Here are some key points on becoming an effective, “active” listener.
Call us if you’d like to learn more.
Listen rather than just hear.
between the lines: is there an unspoken message?
the words and their possible meaning(s.)
attention to the speaker’s tone of voice, emotions, and
the context of
the message. Use all of your senses to listen!
Interact with the speaker.
open-ended questions that cannot be answered with “yes” or “no.”
or re-state, what you believe the speaker said, for clarification.
what the speaker really wants.
Solve the problem. There is a difference between solving and
specific notes, if you are dealing with a customer.
about possible solutions to the request or problem.
on the other person’s needs, not your own.
Words should convey a positive, rather than a negative,
- “I can” instead of “I can’t”
- “And” rather than “but”
- “I can understand why you…” instead of “you should
- “The best option may be…” rather than “the only thing
we can do is…”
- “Thank you” instead of “I’m sorry”
Empathy reflects your understanding of the person’s
facial expressions, like smiling, as appropriate.
genuine concern or interest.
Nonverbal body language speaks as clearly as words.
an open stance; do not fold or cross your arms in front of
your interest in what the person is saying by your body position,
such as leaning toward the speaker.
listening is an intent to “listen for meaning.” Becoming
an active listener will help to prevent misunderstandings, resolve
conflict, and build trust and cooperation.1
The Business Institute is here to listen to YOUR needs! Call
the Business Institute at 815-291-6981 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
or to schedule a business training consultation – Today!
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