Listen to understand feelings

Most people mainly listen for information. If in addition you listen to understand how people feel, you will stand out. Colleagues and associates will want to deal with you and give you opportunities and help.

  • One of the techniques that communication training programs teach is to listen well. These techniques include not cutting people off, listen without preparing a reply, to show signs of attention, to have similar body language, and to acknowledge what the other party says. The latter includes paraphrasing what the other person said. The advice is good – one should practice until this skill is internalized.
  • Good paraphrasing requires looking from both the speaker’s and your point of view. A useful approach is to state the situation, define the problem, and then draw out the implication. In a sales situation, this implication can then be turned into a need – to be satisfied by you selling something.
  • It is even better when you listen so that you actually understand how the other party feels. Note that some people cannot actually articulate the thing that is most important to them. Listen for feelings by looking at the eyes, face, body language and listening to changes in the voice,

Everyday we enter into numerous negotiations – some major, some small. You can apply these ideas on those occasions. Even when there is no negotiation, we shuld try to give people a better deal.

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