Lunch and Learn with Lindsay – Issue 84: Listen!

LISTEN.  I’ve got something to tell you in this week’s #LunchNLearnWithLindsay!

Listening is the key to creating and maintaining rapport. It’s the foundation to that great working relationship with your Executives and team.

Listening is a skill and for many of us, it is a skill we can improve on.

The crème de la crème of listening involves listening with your whole body and then mirroring or matching the person you are listening to in order to create and maintain rapport.

Once we have great rapport with someone we are then more easily able to influence or persuade them – with integrity of course – so that we can achieve our goals and outcomes.

Let’s break down listening into the 3Vs of communication, namely Verbal (the words and phrases used), Vocal (how you use your vocal chords) and Visual (what you see when communicating).  

LISTEN with your ears to the Verbal clues.  Remember, we all have a preference for phrases, terminology and favourite sayings. Our own personal interpretation of vocabulary may be very different to someone else’s. Notice what specific words and phrases the person you are listening to has used. Pick out phrases and words to repeat back when talking to them. Based on the popular saying “people like people who are like themselves”, by using the same “language” and words as the person you are listening to this demonstrates your respect for what they are saying. You are keeping the conversation “clean” by using their language without “dirtying” the conversation with your own preferences. This accounts for a lot in creating and maintaining great rapport.

LISTEN with your ears to the Vocal element. Notice how someone is using their voice. What tone of voice are they using? What emphasis are they placing on words with the intonation of their voice? How fast or slow are they speaking? What volume are they using? What does this tell you?

LISTEN with your eyes to the Visual clues.  We can assess a lot from noticing what is happening in a person’s body language including their physiology (facial expressions), gestures and movement. What can you see happening?  Use this information to be curious about what is going on for that person then mirror their Visual clues to create true engagement.

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