Listening Is Different Than Hearing

Why is it that in most business and social encounters the mouth is employed much more than your two ears? Many people think they are listening when they are just hearing. If your ears are healthy, hearing is an automatic anatomical response to sound in your vicinity. It takes no effort or skill.

 

On the other hand, good listening, which uses the same two ears as hearing, takes focus and is a skill that can be learned. The most common mistake in good listening is that while someone is talking, you are thinking about what you are going to say. The consequences of that is the other party quickly realizes you weren’t listening to them, as your remarks did not take into account what you should have just heard. Not exactly a confidence builder.

 

How many times have you been introduced to someone and almost immediately forgotten their name? You didn’t forget. You just didn’t really hear it.

 

This listening thing is a big deal. It affects all phases of your business and personal life. In my opinion, it is the key component of successful selling. If you ask good questions and then really listen, most buyers will eventually tell you how to sell them. Silence many times is your best friend. Successful negotiators are good listeners. They learn what’s really important to the other party through good listening. They can then speak to address their concerns and priorities.

Good listening is a major trust builder. People want to know that their opinions are being heard. They will have confidence and trust in people who listen to their point of view, even if they don’t share it. This applies to your employees, peers, customers, suppliers, family members, and all earthlings you meet.

 

Understand that humans process ideas faster than they can be delivered verbally. This makes it easy for your mind to wander when listening. Patience is required to focus.

 

Good listening will improve your relationships at home. Don’t come home and bring all your problems to the dinner table if you aren’t willing to listen to everyone else’s concerns and activities.

 

There is an abundance of books and videos available on the subject. However, just being aware of the situation will make you a better listener. You can always improve on this skill.

 

I strongly believe listening is a life skill that should be a mandatory course beginning in high school.

 

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10 Tips to Build Better Trust in your Business

Trust Builds Confidence

 

The single most important thing you can do in starting and building a business is to get people to trust you. Trust needs to be earned and takes time, although you can lose it in a second. Telling people to trust you doesn’t cut it. In fact, when people I just meet tell me to trust them, my antennae is up to watch my back.

 

The benefits of being trusted are enormous. People have confidence in those they trust. Confidence leads to wanting to do business with you. Employees want to work for trustworthy bosses and are more highly motivated when they do. Customers are more likely to write orders for sales people they trust. Investors and lenders will not write the check to anyone they suspect is not high on the trustworthy ladder. A great deal of their due diligence is in finding out your trust score. And in my opinion, the most important thing about being trusted is that you live a better life. The only way to teach your children about trust is to set the example for them.

 

You should always do the right thing. Most people know right from wrong but are compromised when money is at stake. Many people differ on what is right or wrong in a business situation. It takes lots of little things and time to build trust. Some people never even think about it as they instinctively do the right thing. Here are 10 specific trust building ideas to get you thinking in the right direction. There are many, many more.

 

10 Tips to Build Better Trust in your Business

 

1.  Listen to people you deal with.

2.  Admit mistakes right away.

3.  Pay bills on time. If you can’t, call and tell why and when you will pay. Give a date

you can meet or beat.

4.  Acknowledge what you don’t know. Don’t BS.

5.  Don’t duck or procrastinate dealing with a problem.

6.  Demand quality.

7.  Don’t over promise.

8.  Move quickly to correct mistakes no matter the cost.

9.  Keep your promises.

10.  Never betray confidential information.

 

Bootstrapping 101 lists 38 trust building ideas.

 

Also, remember trust is portable. Wherever you go, it follows you: good or bad.

 

LISTENING INSTEAD OF HEARING

Why is it that in most business and social encounters the mouth is employed much more than your two ears? Many people think they are listening when they are just hearing. If your ears are healthy, hearing is an automatic anatomical response to sound in your vicinity. It takes no effort or skill.

 

On the other hand, good listening, which uses the same two ears as hearing, takes focus and is a skill that can be learned. The most common mistake in good listening is that while someone is talking, you are thinking about what you are going to say. The consequences of that is the other party quickly realizes you weren’t listening to them, as your remarks did not take into account what you should have just heard. Not exactly a confidence builder.

 

How many times have you been introduced to someone and almost immediately forgotten their name? You didn’t forget. You just didn’t really hear it.

 

This listening thing is a big deal. It affects all phases of your business and personal life. In my opinion, it is the key component of successful selling. If you ask good questions and then really listen, most buyers will eventually tell you how to sell them. Silence many times is your best friend. Successful negotiators are good listeners. They learn what’s really important to the other party through good listening. They can then speak to address their concerns and priorities.

Good listening is a major trust builder. People want to know that their opinions are being heard. They will have confidence and trust in people who listen to their point of view, even if they don’t share it. This applies to your employees, peers, customers, suppliers, family members, and all earthlings you meet.

 

Understand that humans process ideas faster than they can be delivered verbally. This makes it easy for your mind to wander when listening. Patience is required to focus.

 

Good listening will improve your relationships at home. Don’t come home and bring all your problems to the dinner table if you aren’t willing to listen to everyone else’s concerns and activities.

 

There is an abundance of books and videos available on the subject. However, just being aware of the situation will make you a better listener. You can always improve on this skill.

 

I strongly believe listening is a life skill that should be a mandatory course beginning in high school.

 

A TWITTER CZAR IS NEEDED. . .to force all members of CONGRESS TO LEARN HOW TO IMPROVE THEIR LISTENING SKILLS which currently are abysmal. This applies to members of both parties.

In a recent post on the importance of good listening, I received a comment from Jeff Hahn, who agrees with my premise on how listening can improve your business success and your personal relationships, Jeff wanted to extend the premise to our elected officials operating out of Washington, DC. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how right Jeff is.

One of my pet peeves is to listen to a Congressional inquiry where the chairman will welcome the invited or subpoenaed guests and say how much they are looking forward to hearing their testimony. Then she/he will talk for 20 minutes with no question offered. Then the baton is passed to a committee member who will talk on for 10 minutes before a question pops up. This goes on and on with all the committee members.

It appears that they think the length of question is equated with wisdom. Maybe that emanates from an early school where many teachers grade higher for the quantity of words offered in a paper. I’m from the school that shorter is better, although harder. A majority of our politicians seem to exemplify the common error in good listening (postulated in our earlier post): their listening capital is expended on thinking of what they are going to say next (talking points) when someone is talking to them. How many times have you heard a politician answer a question, sometimes eloquently, that has no bearing on the question put forth?

So, to help resolve this issue for these important people in our country, I propose a Twitter Czar should be appointed to enforce a 140 word limit on all congressional questions. Their credibility will be enhanced while we citizens’ patience will not be so taxed.

The answer to Challenge #4: A decimal point = I’m a dot in place

Challenge #5: Rearrange all the letters and using each one only once in the word PRESBYTERIAN to form a new word or phrase that has a bearing on Presbyterian.

Leave your thoughts as a comment for the challenge and the answer will be revealed in our next blog.

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