What is the price we pay for not truly listening? Is it that a work or personal relationship becomes weakened or that a new one misses being developed? How do we feel when we are heard but not listened to? Devalued? Disrespected? Frustrated? Therefore, what is the difference between being heard and being listened to – attentiveness and true understanding?
Business is all about relationships and being a better listener helps you establish relationships that are more positive. We have to provide undivided attention, focusing on the speaker, letting them know that they are truly important. If it is not the right time, then set up a time that works better for both of you. Moreover, more importantly, work on clearing your thoughts from assumptions allowing you to truly be more objective. Be conscious of whether you are interrupting them because if you are, you are not listening and processing your thoughts about their message. Instead you are processing your own thoughts on what you are going to say next. Other important aspects are tone, facial expressions, body language that also tells us much. In addition, when it is your turn, you have offered an example of how you want the other person to listen to you.
Keep in mind that we have two ears and one mouth, we should be listening twice as much as speaking.
“When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion."
- Ethiopian Proverb