Listening Skills: Huge Component of Effective Communications

Editor’s Note: Columnist Galit Ventura-Rozen has written her latest column in honor of National Listening Day.

By Galit Ventura-Rozen

Are you really listening?

When my son was five years old, his kindergarten teacher called me and said she was concerned that my son had a hearing problem. This is not the type of phone call a mom wants to get about her first-born child.

I made an appointment with a hearing specialist and my son’s hearing was checked. When the doctor was done, he told me my son hears better than both of us and he has “selective hearing.” I have shared this story numerous times as an adult because many of us think we are listening, but we are only hearing and not listening.

When someone is talking to you, are you completely present? Could you repeat back everything that person shared with you? More than likely the answer will be no. Being a better listener has less to do with your ears and more to do with how you can be a better listener.

  1. Look the person in the eyes when he or she is speaking. The next time you are in a business meeting and someone is talking to you, having eye contact will keep you engaged. When you are engaged, you really hear.
  1. Focus on key words. When you are ready to respond make sure to use key words you heard in your response. This shows you were listening and helps you focus on the topic at hand when the other person speaks to you.
  1. Ask Questions. When a person is speaking ,find interest in what you would like to learn more about. If you are interested in what is said it will help you listen more closely. Also, think of the questions you would like to ask to learn more about the topic.
  1. Wandering Mind. If you find yourself thinking about what you need to pick up at the supermarket after the seminar, it’s probably a good time to get up and take a break. If leaving the room isn’t an option, grab some water or something to drink. If you can leave the room walk a bit and get the circulation going in your body. I also suggest you write down the items you need at the supermarket so it’s off your mind and you don’t forget.
  1. At times no matter how much you try to focus on the person speaking, you just don’t succeed. If all else fails, now what? Nod your head a few times and respond with, “Yes of course. I completely understand.”

The next time you attend a networking event and want to connect with a potential client or connection, utilizing these suggestions could give you the opportunity to hear something that can give you insight to the person speaking. I have had many great connections and business opportunities because I simply engaged and really listened. The person speaking to you can tell if you are listening and interested in what is being said.

As a public speaker I can tell with an audience full of people who is really listening and interested in what I am saying from body gestures, facial expressions and if the person’s eyes are on me. If you are interested in the person speaking knowing you are truly listening, take note of these things next time someone speaks.

Galit Ventura-Rozen is a Women Empowerment Business and Professional Speaker Mentor who works with women entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next level doing what they love by promotional and paid public speaking. She most recently won the prestigious Silver State Women’s Award for Best Local Motivational Speaker/Coach. To learn more about working with Galit, visit www.galitventurarozen.com or contact her at galitempoweringu@gmail.com.

 

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