Good communications is the key to success – both in a relationship and in business. And, the key to good communications is not talking, but rather listening. The secret, of course, is what is the key to listening?
First of all, it is important to remember that there is more to listening than just not talking. Often, you need to not only listen to what is being said, but also what isn’t being said. Occasionally, you have to listen with your eyes as well as your ears. You have to read body language; you have to keep good eye contact, you need to pay strict attention!
Another factor that is an important key to listening is determining why the other person is talking. Are they wanting a friendly ear so that they can vent? Are they hoping to receive permission or affirmation for what they are saying? Do they truly want advice, or just approval? Once you determine why the other person is talking you can better fill the role of being a good listener.
The final key to being a good listener is to remember that the person talking needs to have you listen; to pay attention to what is being said and not be thinking about what you are going to say next; to show that you really care about them.
Of all the things that you we can do in life, not missing an opportunity to being a good listener is one of the more important ones. Whether you are with family, a friend, or a client, be alert to the need to be one who listens instead of talk; one who shows empathy and who truly understands what they are being told!