September 22, 2013

Stop Speaking to Speak Better!

"She's gone mad!"  

I am sure that's what you as the reader of this blog is thinking! Here she is teaching us how to speak better with our US clients, but the title of this blog is basically telling us to stop talking? What is she saying?  

Sometimes if we take a breath, and stop ourselves from talking and allow our US client to speak or think for a few moments, we can really listen deeply and actively to what they really want. Speaking does not only give us authority. Listening allows us to collect information, understand at a deeper level, and also give the other side time to think about what we have said. 

Here are a few tips to help you listen better from US News & World Report:
  • Break any bad listening habits you have
  • Face the speaker, check your body language and eye contact
  • Avoiding or not knowing how to paraphrase (summarize and ask clarifying questions)
  • Don't distract yourself (internally or externally)
  • Topping the speaker's story
  • Problem finding - creating fake problems
  • Avoid becoming defensive (using "you language")
For more details on the tips, click here.  

Anyone who has experienced being truly listened to feels cared for and appreciated. When we can listen better to our clients and colleagues, respond appropriately and hold more engaging conversations, relationships flourish and working together is much each. Listening skills not only helps in improving day to day communication, understanding conversational cues, but also in the negotiation (push back) experience. 

Jennifer Kumar, based in Kochi, helps individuals and groups to improve their listening and interactive group discussion abilities with US clients through fun, interactive and practical cross-cultural training and language sessions. For more information, contact Jennifer Kumar today.

Photo credit: William Murphy, creative commons flickr

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