You can't get what you want if you don't listen!
Listening is important! Julie Ellis describes how you often think that you are listening but in reality, much of the time, you are listening to your own internal chatter. Instead of listening to someone, you are wondering what to say next, you are finishing their sentences for them, and you are wondering what's for lunch. If you don't listen you won't get what you want. Julie takes you through the steps to become a better listener.
How we can reduce our chances of getting what we want if we don't listen properly? It takes enormous effort to listen properly and mostly we don't do it.
It was 6.30am some months ago when I woke up to the news. They said that members of the Vatican and members of some politically antagonistic group were getting together for 'talks'. I had a rather striking thought. What if they were getting together for 'Listenings' instead of for 'Talks'?
What would it be like to hear 'Who would like to be listened to first?' Normally, you don't know for certain that everyone round the table has the uppermost purpose of deliberately listening to you. That is, listening to your every word until you have finished.
Attending a meeting with the objective of listening is so very different from attending with the objective of giving people your thoughts and opinions.
What difference would it make? People would pay far more attention to what's being said, they wouldn't be trying to work out what to say next, they wouldn't be judging what's being said nearly as much as usual and they'd not be so quick to get their word in. Progress could take place fast! Meetings would take half the time!
**Do you really know how to listen?**
Let's be honest, people don't really know how to listen properly, or at least they don't put as much effort into it as they do in getting their ideas across. Of course, this doesn't apply to you - or me for that matter, because we both know how important listening is and we're always diligent in this area, aren't we? Actually, we can be completely forgiven for not listening properly all of the time. It takes enormous effort and when we're under pressure with a thousand thoughts that we're trying to hold in our heads at once it's practically impossible.
Even under calm circumstances, it's very hard to listen fully to other people's ideas. By listening I mean listening to every single word from the start to the absolute finish to what they are saying without interrupting or straying in thought to other matters like trying to understand what they're saying or wondering what's for lunch or working out what you're going to say next or wishing they would give you a chance to get a word in or finishing their sentences for them.
As well as finishing their sentences for them out loud, there are also the times you do this silently in your head. At times like these you are not fully listening to the other person, even though you think you are. You are, instead, listening to your own thoughts.
**We listen to ourselves most of the time**
The only thing is, that listening to yourself and finishing other people's sentences can get so habitual that sometimes you can get mixed up. You can think you are listening to the other person, however all the time you've actually been listening to yourself. You are more likely to get mixed up like this when you are under pressure, when you don't like, do not agree with and are critical of the other person's ideas, or that they, in any way, make you feel less than fine.
I've seen seasoned sales people go into a knee jerk reaction when a customer has said "It's too expensive". They feel uncomfortable and start to get all defensive as if the customer has said, "I don't want it". They know they haven't said that and yet they still respond defensively instead of dealing intelligently with the objection.
**Our internal chatter is often not helpful**
The trouble with listening to what's going on in your head - your internal chatter - is that you'll end up replying to that rather than to what the person's saying to you. Your internal chatter can put you into a negative emotional state and then put you into that 'knee jerk' reaction rather than enabling you to respond appropriately.
If you had responded to the actual idea rather than to your version of their idea or your emotional reaction to their idea, you'd reach a satisfactory conclusion much more quickly. If you don't, this can consume hours and hours during your week and it'll take so much longer to get what you want.
* observe or hear yourself listening to your internal chatter
* listen to yourself talking to the other person
* listen to yourself listening to the other person. If you do this properly you'll be duplicating what they're saying
* watch yourself to see how you react to your internal chatter
The more you do this the more you'll be able to catch yourself going into your knee jerk reactions and you'll be able to adapt your communication to get more and more of what you want more quickly.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julie Ellis from The Communication Training Company is an expert in showing you how to communicate effectively and how to deal with difficult people. You can find out more by collecting a popular free report worth £67.50. To get "The Three Steps In Dealing With Difficult People" go to this link: http://www.TheSecretOfDealingWithDifficultPeople.com