Thursday, October 2, 2008

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I love the Christmas carol that starts, "Do you hear what I hear?" And I realize it's a little early to celebrate Christmas so let's talk about what you hear.

Think about this: Listening is the cheapest concession you can make in a relationship or a negotiation. When we listen to others it tells them we respect them and care about what they have to say.

Don't just hear people, actively listen to them.

There is a wonderful active listening model, The CARESS Method.

Concentrate on what the other person says.
Acknowledge that they are talking to you. Give them a nod and a smile as they talk.
Research means asking questions to clarify.
Exercise emotional control. Listen to what people say not how they say it.
Sense the non-verbal.
Structure means listening for the most important point. Do they tell you the most important thing up front or do they wander around before getting to the point.

Active listening can be hard work but it is worth it. Don't just hear people. Listen to them.

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