|It’s good that we, as a society, set aside one day per year to present gifts to those that are important to us. It’s just too bad that it’s only one day per year, and that everyone stresses over what to give everyone else.
The best gift you can give anyone is to truly listen to them. This gift doesn’t cost you a cent, and it’s a gift that you can give every day of the year to everyone you meet.
Everyone wants the opportunity to speak their piece. Everyone has the desire to be heard – to be listened to. Everyone wants to be loved. You can’t buy true love with gifts. Give people your undivided attention and truly listen to them when they speak and you’ll be beloved by all.
Good listeners create a positive response in others. Becoming a good listener can improve every aspect of your life, from dealing with customers, to communicating with co-workers, to your inter-personal relationships.
Being a truly good listener involves more than just listening. You have to be an “active listener,” which means you make sure the other person knows you’re listening. When someone is speaking to you, stop what you’re doing and just listen. Don’t do something else, like look at your computer monitor or work on equipment while the other person is talking.
Also, make eye contact.
Lastly, once they’ve said their piece, repeat back what they just told you.
When people take one of my multi-day sales courses, I give them a homework assignment to go home that night and sit down individually with their spouse and each of their children and say, “Tell me about your day.” They are told to give them their undivided attention, to say very little themselves, and to make eye contact.
I can’t tell you how many people have reported to me on the next day that they hadn’t realized it, but they’d never done anything like that with a family member before, that they got a major positive response, and that they were going to make it a point to do that more often.
It’s easy to listen well when people are saying things you want to hear. It’s not that easy when people are saying what you don’t want to hear. Hear them out anyway, and make it clearly apparent they have your undivided attention and that you want to hear their point of view, and you’ll have a much higher probability of having a positive conversation with a successful outcome than you will by tuning them out. Remember this when you’re involved in a conversation with your co-workers, your spouse, and your children.
Here’s one of my favorite poems by one of my favorite authors, Anonymous. It’s titled, “Listen.”
When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving advice, you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problems, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Perhaps that why prayer works for some people Because God is mute and He doesn’t offer advice or try to fix things. He just listens and trusts you to work it out for yourself.
So please, just listen and hear me. And if you want to talk, wait a few minutes for your turn, and I promise I’ll listen to you
A guest post from Charlie Greer.
About the author:
Charlie Greer is a ContractingBusiness.com contributing author, nationally-known HVAC educator, and recipient of the inaugural Tom McCart Consultant of the Year award. He has provided valuable training to Pipe Perfection plumbing.