Be a Great Listener To Become a Great Leader
By Greg Schmidt
I have been in the network marketing industry for about 5 years now. Being a successful entrepreneur and a leader in the industry has taught me a lot. I am going to share with you something that has brought me success to my life, and I am not talking about money.
Being a true leader has taught me how to be a great listener. By nature, we as humans receive 80% of our information through our eyes. Not our ears. Have you ever had a conversation with someone you have never met and by the time the conversation ended you forgot their name? Happens to all of us. I’ll bet you remember what the person was wearing. You will also remember if the person was tall, short, thin, or a little on the heavier side. So you end up referring to that person as “the tall one with the brown hair and yellow shirt.”
Or how about this: Listening to a book on tape while you are in the car and not remembering what was said once you reach your destination. This was me, just today!! I am not a book on tape kind of person. Why is that? It’s because there are too many distractions when you are driving. You have to pay attention to the road and the surrounding environment to avoid an accident. I’d rather read a book. Remember we are all visual people. I see the words on paper, I listen to myself say the words and that’s how I understand.
Are you a sentence finisher? Many of us are. I know I was definitely one! This means that we already have a response to someone’s sentence without actually listening to them. Listen with the intent to understand!
We were all born with 2 ears and 1 mouth. Statistics show that we can hear about 500 words a minute and only speak about 100 words a minute. The gap is pretty big isn’t it? That’s when our mind goes elsewhere and information is lost.
Some tips that help you become a better listener:
Take the time to remove yourself and person you are talking with to a less distracting place. This can also be achieved by simply turning your back to anything that is distracting. Then you don’t see the distractions. It’s easier to speak in a distracting environment than to listen in one.
Resist the temptation to disagree. Many of us will interrupt someone the second we disagree with them. We formulate a response to the person before they even have finished their sentence. Don’t listen with the intent to respond.
Have good body language. What kind of message do you send someone when you have your arms crossed? It means that you are in a “defensive mode” and don’t agree with what someone is saying or just not interested in what is said. Sit up straight with a little forward lean. This tells the speaker that you have interest in what is said even though you may not agree.
Encourage the speaker. This means nodding your head every once in a while and saying little words like “yeah” and “oh really?” This tells the speaker you’re giving them the respect and that you are engaged in the conversation. Then they are more open to listen to you when you have valuable information to share with them.
I believe that listening shows the ultimate respect for someone else. So remember this: To win people’s hearts, stop listening with the intent to respond and start listening with the intent to understand!
Greg Schmidt is an internet marketing consultant who love to share his ideas to better the marketing skills it takes to become a more successful internet business owner. He shares his stories of struggle, sacrifice and success with everyone.