Three Important Active Listening Skills
Active listening doesn’t have to be hard. Master these three very basic skills to become a better listener, communicator, and salesperson. These are physicality, sincerity, and patience. This article will go over each of these three principles and show you how to apply them in your own life.
In face-to-face communications, your body tells a story as much as your voice does. Your “physicality” shows if you’re trully interested- or not. Nodding in agreement, maintaining eye contact, and keeping an open stance all show that you are interested. Staring in to the distance, playing with your pen, or checking your cell phone while the other person talks are the physical equivalent of “whatever.” Attempt to pay attention to your head and hand motions, facial expressions, body orientation (facing toward or away from the other person).
2 Active listening is only going to work if your desire to understand and empathize is honest. If it isn’t, your body motions and questions will seem hollow. The other party’s B.S. detector will go off and you’ll have to work a whole lot harder to create a good impression or close a sale. If what the other person is saying truly doesn’t matter to you, then practice your acting. Sometimes, when you fake it, you eventually actually feel it.
3 A good active listern is also patient. Jumping in any time a thought occurs to us is a natural tendency. Resist this impulse and stay focused. This also applies to your body language. If you’re practically jumping up and down, waving your hand as if to say, “ooh, ooh, I have something I want to say,” it will show you’re not really paying attention.
In all the years I’ve managed sales people, I’ve never seen anyone make it without having these basic skills down pat. They are the building blocks of building rapport, not just in sales but in any social interaction.
Fortunately, you can practice them to get better. By becoming aware of the process, you’ve already taken the first step. Observe your communication behaviors in social settings and look for opportunities fine tune your active listening skills of physicality, sincerity, and patience. So the next time you have an important request to make or sale to close, you will be more likeable and persuasive.