Have you ever had the opportunity to sit with someone who truly, truly listens? Didn’t they make you feel special, important, and worthwhile?
Have you ever sat with someone who did not listen? Instead they sat waiting to speak? They interrupted you whilst you were trying to finish your sentence so that they could have their turn. How did they make you feel? Special, Important, and worthwhile? I think not.
For most of us we were born to hear. Hearing is a physiological process defined in the Oxford dictionary as “the faculty of perceiving sounds” Thankfully most people, unless hearing impaired, were born to hear. However have you ever considered that hearing and listening are two different things?
Listening is defined in the Oxford dictionary as to “give one’s attention to a sound” You see listening is a choice. Listening is a learned skill. Let’s look at the definition, and highlight this – GIVE ONE’S ATTENTION.
Firstly to GIVE:
Giving is “Freely transferring the possession of something to someone” What are you giving when you choose to listen? You are giving your ATTENTION.
Secondly to give ATTENTION:
Attention is defined as “the regarding of someone or something as interesting or important”
When you make the choice to really listen, and not just to hear, you are making a decision to give someone your time, your focus, and you are making them and what they are saying interesting and important. Think back to the last conversation you had, maybe with your spouse, partner, child, boss, employee… Were they the most important and interesting part of the conversation or was it you? Did you really listen or were you just hearing and waiting to speak?
In sales and communication, in leadership and management, anytime you are dealing with people, if you want to really get results, if you want to really SELL, you have to make the choice to LISTEN.