“All too often, people fail to listen because they want their turn to speak and express themselves.”
Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate. ~Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro, The Harvard Negotiation Project.
Listening is an active and intentional skill.
To be listened to at a deep level is to feel known and understood. Feeling known and understood makes your prospects and clients feel more trusting and more secure. Defensiveness and resistance begin to fade away. Rapport is built.
Here are a few steps to move you towards active, intentional listening so that you can build trust and rapport with your prospect and clients.
- Notice your internal mind chatter and make a conscious effort to quiet it. When we spend time thinking about our own experiences and what we are going to say next we rob the client of the opportunity to be heard. Allow yourself to be totally present with the speaker, acknowledge that this is her moment and absorb what she says with not only your ears but all of your senses.
- Dispel your need to talk. Like internal mind chatter, it robs the client of the opportunity to be heard. Learn to be comfortable with silences and accept that your biggest block to active, intentional listening is your own need to talk.
- Suspend your judgement, assumptions and beliefs. If you allow your own conclusions, opinions, emotions, and experiences to fill your mind, there will be no room to receive these important communications from the client.
- Be deeply curious about what is important to the speaker. As you are intentionally listening, imagine what it is like for the speaker. See the world through his or her eyes. To identify with others at this deeper level you must call upon your compassion and you must quiet your own mind.