Excellent Communication Skills Start With Listening

Listening For Success available at Amazon

Available at Amazon

The word, ‘communication’ is often thought of as getting your message across. The real definition of excellent communication is

the successful exchange of ideas and perspectives.

True communication requires powerful listening skills, as well as the ability to frame and share your thoughts coherently.

Listening For Success

Although Steve Shapiro’s Listening For Success focuses specifically on the importance of listening for network marketing success, the ideas and practical tips outlined are applicable to every area of life. His philosophy is spot on and he explains it all in 46 pages.

In Chapter 1 he asks two very important questions:

Are you listening to people?

Or, are you waiting for your turn to talk?

It’s a common pattern in conversation for most people – we are hearing the words of the other person, while juggling the thoughts we have about how we will respond, often not even waiting until they are finished to blurt out our own words. This mistaken style of communication prevents us from truly understanding what the other person is thinking.

Take a moment and ask yourself, ‘How many times do I enter a conversation with my own agenda for what will come out of it? How often am I able to begin a conversation open to being affected, and very likely changed, by what I am hearing?’

The Mind of The Other

Everything we hear is interpreted through the filter of our individual experiences. After hearing what the other person has said, it is critical to confirm that what you think they mean matches what they think they mean.

Take the time to restate to your conversation partner what it is you think they’ve just said. Let them know that you are seeking to understand and ask for their help in doing so.

Shapiro explains the importance of listening for the ‘story behind the story’ which he likens to an iceberg – 90% of which is under the surface.

When we see things from another person’s point of view, we have doubled our consciousness because we now see twice as much as we did before.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Steve offers 4 essential steps for every interaction:

  • Attend
  • Acknowledge
  • Clarify
  • Respond

It isn’t an easy shift to go from non-ideal communication to a Multi-Level Listening™ model. Ideally, you need to apply these four steps in every conversation. It may be simpler to begin with just steps 1 and 2, since these lay the important groundwork. Steve encourages you to “listen with all of your senses and all of your heart.” When you invest in understanding another with this depth, they will see it and respond positively to you.

Once you master Attend and Acknowledge, Clarify will come more easily, and then, Respond will create the results you are looking for.


PS – What’s the hardest part of the Multi-Level Listening model for you?


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