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Friday, September 14, 2007

IMPROVE YOUR LISTENING


Think of how you feel about people who listen to you. They are the best, greatest, the most competent. If you become expert at listening, others will feel that way about you even they follow. I asked a neighbor about a tough supervisor he had been assigned to.


Ø “He’s my friend,” the man said, “he listen to me.” The boss was tough, but he buffered that toughness by listening.
Ø Another man told me, “my boss is a great manager, but he won’t listen.”


These are two opposites and the second case is tragic, isn’t it. If the boss won’t listen, how he is going to learn anything from his help?


Check yourself for these faults
When you should be listening, do you:-
Ø Seem Impatient
Ø Show no Interest
Ø Interrupt


If you do any of these, your Listening is not helping you.
Now, tell me what you gain by Listening à Listening is one of the strongest tools in human relations.


Think of these benefits to you:-


Ø The Speaker Likes You à How can he help liking (the feeling that you like or the enjoyment of) you? You show that you feel he is important. So many fail to listen to him – his wife won’t listen, his kids won’t listen since you listen, and you stand out. He feels you are one he can trust and depend on.


Ø You Learn Things à One wags put it, “one advantage of listening is that you might learn something. “A man in my speech session has said, “Everything you ever learned by listening.”


Ø You Get to Know the Speaker à What you hear tells you much about the speaker. You never knew he was a student of Shakespeare, or came from America. By listening you learn these things, and get a better appreciation of his skill, his character, and his interests.


Ø You Get Ideas à As you listen, something the other says sparks an idea. It may be an idea about the subject of which he speaks, or it may be an idea that has nothing to do with what he said. At time I catch myself making a note as another speaks. Last week a friend sitting next to me asked, “he didn’t say anything that warranted a note, did he?” perhaps he didn’t, but he said something that started me thinking.


How to Listen


Communication is a two way process, one talks another listens. Why try to listen those above us our boss, or the officers of any offices. But we are not so careful when we listen to those below us.


Listening is made up three steps.


Ø You hear what the other says
Ø You let him know you Heard
Ø You show an Interest


How closely do you follow those steps?


Hearing What Was Said
Most of us hear, even through we are looking out a window or shuffling through papers on our desk. But do a better job of listening if we look at the man, give him our full attention.


Let him know you heard
A question helps tell him you heard. Ask, “Is this what you mean?” or, “where did you those facts?” such questions help assure him that you are listening, and they encourage him to tell you more.


Show an Interest
A complimentary statement is good. Say, “That’s a good idea,” or “I never heard of that before.” A question that asks for more information can cover this step, such as have you tried to estimate how much this idea will save?” such statements or questions indicate that you are willing to hear more.


Five more steps to improve your listening. These five steps will make you a better listener.


Ø Hear it All à Encourages the other keep talking. Too often we are not told the whole story because we don’t encourage the other to tell us, or we don’t sympathize. When the speaker stops telling, it helps to ask, “Is that all?”
Ø Don’t Interrupt à Let the other talk on? The greatest pest is the one who breaks into correct you. You know how you feel when you start to tell about your trip to mountain hills
Ø Repeat what he said in your words à A salesman does this when you make an objection to something he said. This gives you a chance to say, “no, that’s not what I mean.” The device gets the other to restate what he said so you both know what you are talking about.
Ø Never say I knew it à A friend told me, “every time I try to give my boss a piece of information, he stops me by saying, “I know it.” I’m sure in many cases that he hasn’t got the information, but he stops me from giving it to him.” A supervisor who has this habit, even though he does know what the assistant is planning to say, cuts himself off from much information that his assistant should bring him. His group tells him nothing. That say, “That so-and-so knows everything.”
Ø Thank to other à Even through the person has not brought you any new information, thank him for it. Assume the man advices, well, don’t spend any time informing the other of what you know. Thank him for the information and he will bring you other information.


A Good Listener Makes a Better Supervisor


I worked for a manager who sat at his desk cleaning his fingernails with a pen knife while I tried to talk to him. Every few minutes he would assure me, “keep on, I’m listening.” probably He was listening, but that manicuring (to care for and treat your hands and nails) job was bothering me. In my management session the men have listed fourteen things their bosses do while the men are trying to tell them something. They shuffle papers on the desk, look for a certain letter, call out a question to their secretaries, go on, and mention the faults of your boss.


Here’s a story about a boss who wouldn’t listen.


An assistant came into his office to tell the boss that he was quitting his job. The boss, being one of the non-listeners, started to tell the assistant what he had on his mind. After a number of attempts, the assistant finally got across the idea that he was there to resign.


“Why do you want to resign a good job like this?” the boss asked.

“You are demonstrating why,” the employee said.
“I’m demonstrating why and how?”
“You don’t listen. I have been trying to tell you I’m quitting for twenty minutes, and you were not listening.”


The assistant had a new job on which he hopped his boss would listen to him. The executive had the job of finding a new assistant. Perhaps it would have been better if the executives had worked to cure what Shakespeare called, “the diseases of not listening.”


Count the Faults You Have Corrected à this is a good way to check your progress. Of course, you never were bothered with all of the faults listed. Very few of us have been, but we do see some of them as faults that afflict us. These questions will help you check on which ones you are doing something about. Remember, every little improvement helps.


Ø Have you thrown away the words like “stupid, “dumb,” “holes-in-head?”
Ø Have you talked less about your worries and complaints?
Ø Have you cut arguing, wanting to bet?
Ø How many times have you said “please” and thank you” today?
Ø Have you cut your words of criticism?
Ø Are you still trying to be the court jester?
Ø What mistakes in language have you corrected?
Ø Can you get through the day without a damn” or “hell” or other vulgarity?
Ø Are you using the device that makes you a better listener?


The answer to those questions will show how you have improved your speech since reading the preceding topic. If you can answer “yes” to a single one of those questions, you have improved your relations with the people who live, work, and play with you, those above you and those below you.


Regards
Saif Mughal

2 comments:

human being said...

A very interesting and helpful article.I was just shuffling through the blogs when your blog attracted my attention and i read all through this essay. Using the criteria in your article, i'm a good listener! There is always room for improvement, though. I got lots of good hints. Thanks a lot, Saif.

Saif Mughal said...

being a human you are welcome :).
No need to say thanks.

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