Learn how to listen

When you learn how to listen, it will significantly affect your business life for the better.

I will show in this article how to be a superb listener.

girl and boy talkingListening is a skill set. Learn how to listen.

It seems silly to think you need to learn this. 

The fact is, we all listen, but do we really listen?

Learning how to listen will benefit you in all areas of your life. 

Listening is a major part of communicating at the highest level.

Hard to get your head around listening as a communication skill, but that is exactly what it is.

In Business - learn how to listen - listening is vital

In business - listening is vital. It does not matter if you are just starting your business or have been in business for some time. 

The art of listening is worth learning or refreshing your skills.

The benefits are understated, but bring a powerful presence to the transaction. In the transaction of communication, someone is speaking and one or more is listening. Not too confusing.

We all do it every day and have done it since we developed language.

Communicating has been around for centuries.

The best salespeople, the best professionals, the best entertainers, and the best interviews are those who listen. 

Sure, they speak well and are articulate. But notice, next time you are in their presence or watching from afar, how they listen. 

I will show you how to be a brilliant listener.

I will show you how to be a brilliant listener and how you can benefit from using little tricks like alterations to your posture.

I will explain how changing the dialogue and using a pause to amazing effect can be the difference between a good listener and a skilled listener, and communicator.

Leading a conversation with questions is a remarkable way to show your audience one or many, you are listening.

The thing is, listen. I mean listen with intent. If this doesn’t come naturally, then you need to practise until it becomes a natural part of your communication technique. Learn how to listen.

Most of the population does not actually listen

For most people, it is not a natural thing. Most of the population does not actually listen. They take on the first few words or first few sentences and judge what the speaker is communicating, then respond. They jump in or over talk. 

This natural process goes on in the brain without you even knowing. The more it happens the more you either jump in or completely misunderstand the issues. Simply because you are not actually listening. They have never been taught to learn how to listen.

bored listenerAre you listening or just bored out of your mind?

Examples of what I am talking about

Here are some examples of what I am talking about.

When you have been around, a group of people say 3 to 5 at a gathering like an after-work social function, a catch-up at the local club, or a family function. Whatever the situation.

5 people chattingWho is holding court? Are you interested? Are you waiting to jump in? Are you really listening?

I want you to think back. 

I want you to remember firstly if there was a dominant voice. Someone who loved the gabfest. The one who hogged the conversation. I don’t want to get too scientific or all-knowing, but think about this scene.

Was it interesting, boring, amusing, or just plain vanilla conversation? 

Were you even listening? 

The odds are you cannot remember too much of the conversation.

It is at this point the group splits into twos and threes to continue on a subject that is newsy or interesting. You would probably remember this part better. Because you are interested and you were listening.

Why is it so?

What about if you changed the dynamics? Next time, go into this situation prepared. Almost manipulating the direction you want the communications to go. Treat it as an exercise and observe what happens. 

Here’s how you do it.

First, you shut up. 

Do not speak until you are asked a question. 

Do not jump in.

Politely repeat the question back to the questioner. 

The respondent will repeat the question slightly differently, more often expanding it.

Still do not jump in.

Now you have everyone’s attention. You have not said a thing. 

All you have done is listen and repeated the question. 


The power of the pause.

Do not make eye contact. 

You will have amazing power with this technique. 

Great communicators know exactly what is happening. 

Hold the pause for a little longer, then answer the question.

Slowly, make eye contact as you speak to everyone in on the conversation. 

It is important you understand the question and have been listening.

Practise this technique. 

Know when to use it. 

Listening is the power. 

This is where you learn how to listen.

One-on-one meetings

one on one meetingAllow the other person to do the talking for as long as you can. Listen. Do not jump in.

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With an agenda like a business meeting or just a two-way conversation with a customer or colleague or friend for coffee. 

I want you to let the other person do the taking as much as you can. 

You can control this with a few little tricks and techniques. 

Tricks and techniques

First, you ask a question. It might be “what do you think about the latest ….?” or “what are your thoughts on the new …..?” 

Get your questions organized before the meeting.

It only has to be a few memos you need to remember. After all, this is an exercise. Try to make it spontaneous or for the exercise make it appear spontaneous.

After you have asked the first question, shut up. 

Lean slightly forward in your seat. 

Make eye contact and wait. 

Do not jump in to help with his/her response. Just sit and listen intently.

When they have finished, wait. 

The pause is powerful remember. 


This will extract more of the response. 

Wait until you feel you have got all they are going to give. 

Now, pause again. 

Sit back in your seat. 

This shows you have finished listening. 

Maybe you say a word or two, like “huh, huh”. This is an indicator you are going to respond. Do not make eye contact. 

Look away as if you are thinking of what you are going to say.

You have the power of communication right there.

As above, speak deliberately, and slowly and be succinct. Do not get too involved with the answer. 

After all, it is an answer based on their response to your question. 

You have listened. 

Listened intensely and responded accordingly. 

Ask another question or move on to trivial conversions. The communication transactions are the same. 

Rinse and repeat. 

Learn how to listen.

The more you do this the more you consciously practise, the better listener you will become. 

People will gravitate toward you. 


Because they know you will listen. 

Most people appear to listen, but they do not hear.

Listening is a skill. Learn how to listen.

It can be taught and quantified. 

A well-experienced mentor can guide you to do it professionally and in a non-threatening way. 

It is a matter of knowing the process and continue practising the exercise. 

When you became a great listener, you will become a master communicator.

experienced mentor with studentLearn how to listen by listening and learning from an experienced mentor.

You will retain more of the conversations and you will be a businessperson people want to deal with and work for. 

It is not easy, but over time it is all possible. 

I have witnessed amazing results time and time again.

The funny thing is when you are listening people think you have contributed to the conversation more than you actually have. 

In fact, a great communicator doesn’t say much at all. 

I remember an incident way back when a colleague contacted me with a rant about why he was thinking of quitting his role. 

He’d had it with the hierarchy and couldn’t get his project to the next level. 

He was off the rails. 

Quite depressed and not rational.

I told him not to move from where he was and I would be there in twenty minutes. 

I sat down and asked him to tell me the whole situation. 

I listened. 

I made eye contact and sat forward in my seat.

I asked him to elaborate on a point from time to time. 

I got him to tell me what made him feel this way or that. 

In real terms, I said very little.

The conversation went on for about an hour. When he’d finished, I asked him a few non-threatening questions sort of unrelated to the issue but close to the issue. 

I listened to his response. I got him to expand on the question and basically finished up. 

In the entire hour, I said very little. I listened probably 95% of the time. 

He got up and thanked me and appreciated my input and the help I gave him. 

The fact was I was his sounding board. I did absolutely nothing except listen. 

That is all he needed. 

True story.

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Now it is your turn to take this and run with it

If you want to be a great communicator, it starts with being a great listener.

To give your business the best opportunity to succeed, then get an experienced mentor and learn how to listen.

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Experience isn't the best teacher, experience is the only teacher.

cliff climber

Confidence comes from experience