“Effective Listening Skills are very important”, isn’t that what everybody says?
Learn what to listen for in verbal communication and look for in written communication.
In the True Colors team building activities we will discuss that people communicate to the world in their color and expect to be communicated too in their color.
That is often where communication gaps can come from.
It can be difficult to match a personality types color/style if that color is the lowest valued color in your spectrum. So how do you do it?
The first step is to open yourself up to take in all the clues that they are giving you.
Do they have a list in their hand? Are they excited and want to get busy right away? Are they talking to you about the big picture of how the item they are buying today fits in? Are they concerned about what other people will think of their decision?
These are all examples of behaviors that will give you clues as to their communication color.
To develop effective listening skills you have to pay attention to the words that they use when expressing themselves.
To do that we need to remember the five senses people we born with (oral factory - smell, gustatory - taste, kinesthetic - touch, audio - hearing and visual – site).
At some point the recipient of your message has chosen one these senses to be their primary mode of gathering information. This choice is typically referred to as their learning style.
Typically focus is on the big three – touch, hearing, and site. (Audio, Visual, Kinesthetic)
Look for the clues they will give you about which sense is dominant for them. For example, “I see what you are talking about.” – would indicate the person is visual. “I can picture that in my garden.”, would be another visual example.
The people you are communicating with will provide these clues when they understand and when they are struggling to understand. Examples of the later would be, “It doesn’t sound quite right to me.” or “It doesn’t feel right to me.” or “Does it always smell that way?”
The next step is to then ask them a question using their own words. For example, “What doesn’t sound quite right to you about the schedule for delivering your plants?” By asking the question you will get more insight into where the recipient is struggling with your message.
Based upon their learning style you can adjust to make your answer more visual, more audio, or more kinesthetic in nature.
These are not standalone information gathering techniques they should be integrated into your existing sales and customer service techniques.
The more you can master paying attention to these little clues the more your effective listening skills will become.
Until next time, keep Discovering your Natural Abilities.
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