One of the pathways of increasing our influence is to become a better listener.
After all, great leaders are great listeners. They take time to listen to their customers. They ask great questions of their teams and listen. They do this because they know: Listening and Learning travel together. The challenge for many leaders is they simply talk too much. As a result, they forfeit a lot of potential insights and ideas.
We rarely learn while talking.
This week, I want to heighten your awareness to listen more with a four step process. It’s simple but effective.
1. Posture and Position.
When Wendy and I go out to dinner with a restaurant that has TV monitors, I try to sit with my back to the screen, especially if there’s a game on. I’m trying to avoid the distraction of the game. Focused eye contact and eliminating distractions are the right posture and position.
2. Repeat what you’ve heard.
This is called Active Listening. Your goal is to not only listen but capture what you hear and repeat it back. This simple tool greatly reduces misunderstanding by providing quick clarity. My friend Shane Benson often starts this with, “What I hear you saying is…”
3. Confirm what you’ve heard.
It might take a couple of try’s to gain 100% clarity of what the other person is saying. Once you do, you conclude with a question.
4. Is there something I can do to help? Then, repeat the process.
This week, try it out and email me back to let me know how it went. One of the greatest gifts you can give the people in your life is to value them by listening to them. Along the way, you’ll discover it’s a great gift for you as well.