….so you can become a better recruiter & consultant
You’ve probably heard the old quote “You have two ears and one mouth, use them in that proportion.” I like to call it “Balancing listening & talking.”
In our profession, we are spending so much of our time listening, evaluating, and making informed decisions, that our ability to effectively listen to our candidates, hiring managers, and other key stakeholders is paramount.
Yet the reality, and this is statistically proven, is that the majority of us only really absorb between 25-50% of what we hear. If the important parts of a conversation are in that 25-50%, great. If not, then we are ineffective and inefficient.
Being a better listener will do a number of fantastic things for you. It will benefit you in improved productivity, influence, persuasion and negotiation. You will avoid misunderstandings, improve rapport and communication, and be more effective to your customers.
To enhance your listening skills, you need to practice “active listening.” This is when you make a conscious effort to listen to not only the words being spoken, but the meaning behind them. This takes a lot of effort on your part.
You need to remain very focused on what the other person is saying. You need to ignore what is going on around you, as well as forming counter arguments in your mind while they speak. The moment you stop concentrating fully on the other person, you are no longer actively listening.
Top five tips for practicing “active listening” – If you are doing this well in a meeting, you will be amazed how much more tired you are than normal at the end of it!
1. Pay complete attention
You need to give the person speaking your undivided attention, and continue to acknowledge what they are saying. Look for all non-verbal communication in addition to listening to the spoken words.
2. Show that you are listening
Your own body language is very powerful in conveying your attention. Nodding, smiling occasionally, and noting your posture are all important and easy things to practice.
3. Give feedback to the person speaking
Our job as a listener is to clearly understand what is being said. One very easy way to do this is to occasionally check your understanding. Asking questions and reflecting back to the speaker are simple ways to accomplish this.
Ask questions like, “What do you mean when you say….?” Or reflect by saying, “Sounds like what you are saying is…”
Summarize your understanding for them, and get them to correct you if necessary.
4. Don’t interrupt
Interrupting is not only rude, but it wastes time and risks frustrating the person speaking to you. It may limit the conversation, and hence limit the message you are given.
5. Make only appropriate responses
Active listening requires respect and understanding. You add nothing to the conversation by countering inappropriately, or attacking a point of view. You should be open and honest in your responses, and respectful in your opinions.
Putting these 5 tips into practice takes a lot more work than you would expect. It takes concentration and determination.
If you practice “active listening” and continue to remind yourself that this is what you are doing, not only will your understanding of your clients and prospects improve, but so too will your conversion rates. You’ll be a better communicator and build better relationships.
It really is amazing how much you don’t hear.
Have a phenomenal week!
Bradley Savoy | LEAN