Liz Perrett | 4 February 2013
One of the best quotations I have ever read appears on an album by Paul Williams, he wrote ‘There are those who listen and those who wait to talk; this album is for the listeners’.
Some people will think that this blog will point out the
blindingly obvious but I will soldier on!
I think that many people wait to talk. I think that the business world is full of people who wait to talk and these individuals miss incredibly interesting and valuable information. I love conversation. I think that it is really simple - my friend/colleague shares some information, I share some information - sometimes conversations are really balanced; on occasions one party to the conversation needs a bigger share because they have some important matters to resolve/mull over/ask advice about and then on other occasions the baton passes to the other party because their need for air time is greater.
I am always surprised by the lack of curiosity some people display. In business people often don't check their audiences so that they can end up patronising individuals they would prefer to influence. They recommend solutions which are not appropriate because they don't probe for background that would really help them to improve on their approach.
I am sure that we have all experienced the customer service representatives who power through their script without acknowledging anything we have said as customers.
When we help our delegates to improve their communications skills we focus a great deal on improving their listening skills. It sounds such a simple thing but it is so important.
I have a friend who, on occasions when I have said 'I don't think that I explained that very well', will say 'I will tell you what I heard and you can say whether this is what you wanted me to know'. It is really quite refreshing to feel that someone is really listening to you.
So if you are a fabulous listener you are sure to be emotionally intelligent and you will have more information on which you can base sound decisions. If you are someone who prefers to talk, please give listening a go - it is very rewarding.
Clearly if you only ever listen that could be a problem too! If you take it too far, as Victoria Wood says, you can find yourself in the kitchen at parties listening to someone who has done their own conveyancing.
Interested in developing your emotional intelligence and improving your communication skills ? QA has solutions to support you.