Are You Listening?
There are many obstacles to our listening attentively, especially if we are working in a home environment. Our minds may be crowded with anxieties. Noise and movement in the audience, or outside the meeting place may distract us. Physical discomfort may make it difficult for us to concentrate. Those with young children often find that their attention is divided.
What can help us to keep our attention focused on the program?
The eyes strongly influence where we focus our attention. Use your eyes to help you concentrate by keeping them on who is talking.
Listening during a discussion is, in certain respects, like sharing in a conversation. To benefit fully, listen carefully. Observe the direction in which the discussion is moving. Note how the one speaking emphasizes the theme, and the main points. Mentally respond to his questions. Listen as others explain, and apply the material. Looking at the information from the viewpoint of others may give you fresh insight into a familiar subject. Contribute to the interchange by offering your own expressions.
Of all the skills you’ll use as a speaker, the skill of listening is the most powerful.
Do I learn more about someone else when I am talking or when they are talking? Of course, we learn much more about people when they tell us about themselves, than when we tell them about ourselves. In other words, don’t hog the conversation.
One particular area of listening that will help you establish, and maintain meaningful relationships is listening for values. When you are prospecting, listen for your prospects’ question why. If you assume that your values are the same as theirs, you may miss the boat in being able to build a lasting relationship. So listen carefully.
In sports, a coach listens to his team members to discover the values that are being expressed, whether stated outright or what is unsaid. Yes, you can listen “between the lines” of conversation to hear unspoken needs, desires, and fears. When you know where your “clients” are coming from, you can listen to assist them to stay true to themselves — one of your essential responsibilities. As you listen, try to discern what the objective is. Consider how the points being brought out contribute toward reaching your objective. Ask yourself what the information calls for you to do.
It is often the case in mentoring someone; you’ll discover that they basically stop, because of a values conflict. For example, a member may value being respected, and recognized, yet in his Network Marketing business experience he may find himself being rejected, and even disrespected. By helping a member on your team, accept that his values of recognition, and respect may be violated in his business experiences; he can recreate an environment in which he can be respectful of others, and give recognition where it is due.
He may also discover with a prospect that he is revealing confusion about Network Marketing in his presentations. Listening for the conflict allows you to go deeper with the prospect, and even a distributor to uncover some unspoken fears about the business.
If you find you are hesitant to reveal your Network Marketing business opportunity, for example, ask a mentor to listen to you “vent” about it until you get to the bottom of your concerns. You will be surprised how your ideas may have been influenced from past experiences such as an unspoken fear that no one will want to partner with you or a lingering doubt you still hold about your business opportunity. These create conflicts in your business presentations. Go into it with a mentor, tell the truth, work together to create an empowering interpretation of your experience, and get clarity so you can move on!
You don’t always hire someone to listen to you, but make sure that the person listening adheres to these tips for effective listening:
- Pay attention to how you listen
- Keep your eyes on the speaker
- Look for the objective of the one speaking
- Mentally respond to questions asked
- Listen carefully to comments given
- Take brief notes
- Isolate points that you personally plan to apply