Did you know that you miss 75% of everything that is said to you?

The average person hears about 25% of what is said to them. 75% is missed!

People have shorter attention spans today, just look at the way individuals are using devices to communicate. With Twitter, you must use 140 characters or less to communicate a message, text messages are all indications we like information in bite size pieces.

According to Epictetus, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Therefore, in a meeting with anyone, you should utilize the ratio of 2:1 (listening to speaking.)

Give your undivided attention when listening.

Do not multitask when someone is talking to you. People can tell when you are truly listening and they appreciate that you give them your undivided attention.

At the end of the day, people want to be heard AND understood. Listening and understanding go hand in hand; therefore, make it a habit to repeat the highlights of what you heard and understood back to the person. You do not need to repeat everything. Instead, you can repeat something from the end of a discussion point or repeat a summary at the end of the meeting. For example, “So what I heard you say is __________,” is that correct?

Use the repeat method for the things you feel are most important. After the most important thing is clarified, it is essential to determine the next steps. Hearing, understanding and setting up the next steps will help the discussion lead towards a resolution.

What good listening shows

1. Respect: Most people are trying to do their best based on their experiences as it relates to their own model of the world. Approaching the conversation with respect will build rapport, eliminate judgments and allow you to ask great questions by being conversational and curious. When you listen through these filters, you are focusing on helping the client/prospect. By truly listening and making him or her your primary focus, you will show your level of respect.

2. Problem Solving: “A problem well defined is a problem half solved.” Charles Kettering. Problem solving through effective listening skills allows you an opportunity to help your client see the problem from a different perspective. This will demonstrate that you were listening for relevant information and you are working to help them solve a dilemma.

3. Clarification: Repeating what you heard will help you clarify the main points in your mind and in their mind. This will ensure that you understand what is important and make sure that you did not miss any important information. Reinforcing the main points at the end of the meeting allows you to make sure you “heard” everything.

Better listening = Better solutions = Better results = Happier, more people living a fulfilled life.

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