Listening is not a passive act. In our world of perpetual urgency, being an active listener makes you distinctive – it’s a competitive advantage. In fact, prospects cite engaged listening as a key reason they choose to work with one supplier versus another. Active listening communicates respect for the speaker, and his or her time. It maximizes the productivity of your interaction with your customers or your personnel.Learning to be an active listener starts with wanting to be good at it, so try these tips:
Make time to listen – be attentive.
Be enthusiastic – enthusiasm shows on your face, in your posture, in your questions.
Listen with an open mind.
Listen for emotions/feelings.
- Be actively involved & focused – there’s a reason you have two ears but only one mouthUse body language to communicate engagement – smile, maintain eye contact, lean forward, nod your head.
- Ask for permission to take notes – communicate your primary interest is listening; clarify notes later.
- Ask follow-up questions that restate what you heard, but use your own words – “So ‘x’ is your most important issue at this time, right?”
Active listeners get what they deserve – actionable information, profitable orders, enduring relationships.
When was the last time you evaluated your listening skills?