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It's Not Possible To Listen And Talk At The Same Time

May 25, 2008
Let's face it; it is simply not possible to listen and talk to your colleagues at one and the same time.

Working on your listening skills to the point of perfection is likely to be one of the best assets you have to offer your organization. This skill alone will take you further in life than practically anything else you can think of in connection with how you connect and communicate with other people.

Instead of listening to what someone has to say in an uninterested manner, try actually engaging your mind in the conversation which is taking place. Give serious thought to what the other person is saying to you and if you find yourself drifting away from what he or she is saying, focus your concentration on that person's lips and watch as they mouth the words.

Make sure you break your gaze every now and again as staring at them looks strange and may lead to awkwardness between you.

Whilst someone is talking to you, make a mental note of what they are saying. If you are not sure about a particular point, when they have finished speaking ask them to clarify the point in question. This shows the one speaking that you are listening to what he or she has been saying. A good speaker will always give you the opportunity to ask any question at specific intervals throughout the conversation.

If you decide to make written notes, don't attempt to do this verbatim. It is practically impossible for you to write down every single word of the conversation and get the exact meaning of what the person is trying to say. You are too busy writing to be listening to what is said.

Piggybacking is a technique you can use to continue the conversation if you do not have a great knowledge of the subject being discussed. An example of this is when your assistant is describing something technical to you about his or her computer which you have no knowledge about, or interest in, whatsoever. When your assistant says to you that the RAM needs upgrading, simply ask why it needs upgrading. This open ended question requires an answer with more details.

The response can then be used for you to continue the discussion even further and you will appear to remain in control of the conversation at the same time.

Listening skills are not acquired overnight. They take time to develop. If you actively look people in the eye and show an interest in what they are saying by repeating little snippets of what they have said, this shows a genuine interest in what they are sharing with you. Overall this gives you far more credibility with others and your relationships will go from strength to strength.
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of Be Successful News , a site that provides information and articles on how to succeed in your own home or small business.
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