How important is listening when building a relationship? In my mind, this is an easy question to answer— listening is absolutely critical! In fact, I don’t know how you can build any relationship without the ability to listen. Listening is the most impactful way I know to connect with another person. Perhaps the more important question shouldn’t be if listening affects your ability to build relationships but “Are you a good listener?” Based on studies I’ve read, it’s evident that many of us aren’t.
It’s funny how the words “listen” and “silent” have the same letters. I wonder if that’s a coincidence or a reminder. It’s both in my opinion. Can you really listen if you don’t allow for silence? If you ask genuine, thought-provoking questions, it seems to me that you should expect to hear silence first before you hear any words. That indicates that the person you’re talking to is taking the time to process what you just said.
“To listen well, is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is as essential to all true conversation.” [Chinese proverb] How true! Listening is the most impactful way I know to connect with another person. Unfortunately, it seems to me (and experts tend to agree) that most of us don’t know how to listen well.
Let’s face it—most of us are not good listeners. And I think part of the reason why is that we don’t realize how valuable listening really can be. Listening does indeed enable us to gain a better understanding of others. But that’s only a part of what good listening can do for us.
This is exciting news—it’s just been released. You can now listen to my bestselling book Stop Acting Like a Seller and Start Thinking Like a Buyer. It’s available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes! (You can get this for free if you subscribe for an Audible trial through Amazon.com). This is indeed good news for those of you who can’t find the time to sit down and read a good book yet still want to learn the concepts and practical advice of how to sell better. Listening to this book may provide an even greater benefit—for now you have the opportunity to practice your skill of listening (which is essential for great selling).
Change is a constant in today’s business environment. That’s why I value those rules/laws/insights that stand the test of time. In the recent Harvard Business Review blog The Best Leaders Are Insatiable Learners, author Bill Taylor refers to the speech John W. Gardner delivered in 1990 to McKinsey & Co. which has been described as one of the most influential business speeches of all time.
As I was reading Erika Napoletano’s blog 3 Reasons Introverts Make Excellent Employees, I was wondering why more introverts don’t enter the realm of selling. I guess some mistakenly believe that you need to be a gregarious extravert to be a great sales person. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Introverts by their nature possess several important characteristics that all great sales people share.
"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." [George Bernard Shaw] How true! It’s no wonder that so much of our time at work is spent clarifying or fixing what has been miscommunicated.