The line is so true as most of us have a habit to hear and this differs to listening. Listening in simple terms means you make a 100% attempt to understand the other party. You avoid assumptions and actively listen to what the other is expressing.
The five secrets of a great listener is no rocket science, they simply are:
- Active Listening – It’s about making a decision to listen. This means to let the other speak and you through repeating, paraphrasing and reflecting to understand what the other has said.
- Stop Interrupting - Always let the other finish what they are saying. This is the easiest way to give respect to them. It shows you are giving the them time to process their thoughts and the opportunity to express these thoughts by letting them speak.
- Body Language – Ensure your eyes are focusing on the person rather than wandering around looking at other things or people. You body posture and hand gestures should come across as helpful rather than being aggressive. Nodding while you listen is a great sign of keeping rapport with the customer.
- Write – Most of us tend to forget things quickly. So, carry a small notebook/pad to jot notes of your discussion. Always let the other person know you will be taking notes thus indicating you are taking their permission to do so.
- Ask Questions – Always remember to ask appropriate questions. In other words it should be related to the others needs and wants. It allows you to display to the person you are interested in what their requirement is and by eliciting questions you are clarifying their requirements. Too many questions may come across as an interrogation, so please be careful.