There are times that we like to meet and discuss ideas with certain people more than the others. Why is that? I believe the reason for that is the fact that those who are good at listening make us feel comfortable and even important. Great leaders know that the secret to win with people and lead them is by being an active listener. We all like the full attention of those who listen to us and we all hate it when we are talking and someone for example is checking their phone.
Listening inspires people to share their ideas, thoughts and feelings. When we listen well, we motivate those who are talking to us. All great business leaders know about this but not everyone is an active listener.
We all can follow these powerful steps to become a better listener and in process become better leaders.
1) Become interested in people and show that you are interested in what they have to say. We must listen actively with the intention of understanding. Our body language such as positive eye contact, leaning forward and nodding our head can show that we are actively listening. Taking notes and paraphrasing in appropriate times as what we are told will also inform the other party that we are interested to learn about what they are telling us.
2) Avoid wandering off the subject at hand. As a listener it is important that we stay on the subject and not shift the focus of the subject to something else. By staying focused, we should be able to achieve the goal for the meeting.
3) Ask questions. When we ask questions, we not only verify what we understood from the conversation but we also show that we are listening and we are seriously interested in learning more about the subject. Open ended questions that begin with letters "W" and "H" will give us a chance to learn more about the subject. Example, Why,Who, When, Where,What, How, Have?
4) Stop judging and evaluating the subject during the conversation. Our job in any conversation is to listen actively and show that we are listening. However, most of us tend to begin the evaluation process during the conversation and even judge what we are being told. This type of behavior is reflected in our body language, difficult to hide and will signal to the speaker that we are not listening. So it is best if we can evaluate what we are being told after the conversation is over.
Dr. Allen Nazeri is a health care leadership and management expert. He is the founder of Dr. Allen Nazeri Consulting & Advisory Group assisting medical, dental clinics and hospitals in leadership, management, operational efficiency and strategic partnerships prior to funding valuations for IPO and Private Equity funding. You may contact Dr. Nazeri for a confidential consultation at Drallenci@gmail.com