Category Archives: Listening Skills Tips

How to Become a Great Communicator and Be More Successful

This is a guest post written by Richard Krawczyk.

Reach Your Personal Development Objectives By Utilizing Good communication skills

How would you like to use your personal development objectives to become a great communicator? Imagine the shock your family, friends and co-workers will feel when you suddenly turn into someone who actually listens and cares about what they are saying instead of making every conversation “all about you.”

Just stop talking and “tune in” to what others are saying. Now if you’re listening to a speaker on a teleconference or live presentation, I’d recommend you take detailed notes. Research has proven that the average person only recalls 25-50% of what they heard in a presentation or conversation.

This is why if someone asks you to explain something, say a business opportunity or details about this or that, ask them to make notes because you’re actually wasting your valuable time and theirs by even talking about something they’ll forget within hours. In a week or two, they will probably not remember one word of what you said.

It’s very important to develop listening skills so you can understand and respond intelligently.

Quality communication creates and builds rapport in any relationship, avoids any confusion down the road and leads to a higher degree of understanding of the expectations of those you deal with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the average person has a short attention span and doesn’t listen as well as they should. This fact alone can create lots of challenges.

If All Else Fails, Pay Attention!

Isn’t it irritating to be in the middle of a conversation, only to look at the person you’re talking to in time to see them gazing off into the sunset, daydreaming of who knows what. In any case, they’re not listening to you. Not only is it rude on their part but it can cause you to feel unimportant and dismissed.

If you’re one of those people who can’t pay attention when others are speaking and your body language is screaming; “You don’t matter to me and I’m bored as hell.” Instead of texting someone on your iPhone or BlackBerry, staring out the window at the wind blowing in the trees or continually checking the time on your watch, try some techniques to keep your attention so you won’t be known as a poor listener.

Watch the person who is speaking and do everything you can to keep eye contact with them. Don’t fidget. Sit still and focus your attention. See if you can concentrate on the speakers’ movements, gestures, facial expressions and what they add to their presentation. Besides, you may learn something that can serve you well in the future.

Sit up straight and lean toward the speaker ever so slightly. Engage in the conversation or presentation by nodding in approval at something they say. Pay no attention to noise, the temperature in the room or other potential distractions. And for goodness sake don’t start chatting up the person sitting next to you. You’re not in High School anymore and you don’t need to distract the speaker.

Never Pre-Judge

First of all, do not interrupt a speaker or someone you’re conversing with. Allow them and/or the speaker to finish their sentence. Do your best not to allow bias and prejudice you may have toward someone just because they are different from you, perhaps in race or accent.

Of course, you may have an inner emotional response but do not allow anger, fear or negative emotions cloud the situation and put up a roadblock to understanding the message they are trying to convey.

Wait until they are finished speaking before you begin to formulate a response. Perhaps you won’t even feel the need to say anything once you hear their whole message. If you’re in a constant state of thinking of something in rebuttal to what they are saying you will miss much of what they’re discussing and rush to making a judgment call that upon later reflection wasn’t even necessary.

Humans think at approximately four times the pace of the speaker’s. Just relax and listen to what they are saying and give yourself the time to absorb and understand what’s being said.

Providing Feedback

If you have questions, by all means ask but try not to dominate the discussion with more than one or two questions. Never diminish or embarrass the speaker or come off as a know it all. Give someone else a chance to ask a question. Everyone would like to have others admire their intelligence or wit, but don’t appreciate arrogance.

Repeat back to the speaker what you’d like them to clarify in order to make certain your understanding is correct. Keep an open mind and be honest in your response and be respectful. You may well be up on a stage one day giving a presentation and I’m sure you’d like the same respect given you by others.

Make Yourself An Expert at Listening

Many people have the same complaint about friends, family, co-workers, spouses or partners. “They never listen to me when I’m talking to them.” That’s an expression as old as time. I’m sure it’s a centuries old complaint.

Obviously if you have someone in your life that absolutely drives you crazy because no matter what you ask or tell them, they forget it within minutes. You can tell them something and ask ten minutes later what you said to them and they may say they don’t remember. This can be the result of many things.

Perhaps you’re “nagging” at them constantly about the same thing and they have made the decision to tune you out. Or they are so self-absorbed they don’t care what you said. Either way, it’s an issue that needs to be looked at to be properly resolved.

If you’re the culprit and just zone out when people are talking to you then it’s your job to begin to have some compassion and work on your own listening skills.

A good listener is also a good communicator because they take the time to engage others in meaningful conversation, listen, understand what is being said, the message being conveyed then they take action.

The Best Communicator

Communication skills are one of the most important tools you can have whether for business or in your personal life. No one can be successful if they don’t know how to communicate. You can have the best product or service but if you don’t have a clue how to get your message across properly no one will listen or “get it.”

Naturally, if you lack communication skills there are an endless resource of classes or CDs, DVDs, books and online webinars or teleseminars you can sign up for and attend. There are free webinars on any subject you can imagine being given online every day. Go to Facebook or other Social Network sites and look for “free webinars” and sign up to attend as many as you can.

By hearing various speakers present their offers, you can determine who is the best at presenting and relaying their message in a cohesive and clear manner. If you have the urge to purchase their book, training system or product after hearing their presentation you can be sure they got their message across.

You may want to attend as many of their free webinars as possible and model the way they communicate. You can make huge improvements in the way you talk and communicate with everyone around you and you’ve done it at no out-of-pocket cost to you. Be creative and make a project out of your personal development objectives.

About The Author

Richard M. Krawczyk is a human potential expert, best-selling author, motivational keynote speaker and strategist. For more information about personal development objectives, go to http://www.RichardKrawczyk.com. This article may be reprinted if sent in its entirety and with the author and contact information attached.

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How Super Focus Gets You What You Want

Distracted, finding it hard to concentrate and always stopping and starting. Sound like you? And of course this can negatively impact our communication skills and play havoc with our ability to make good conversation because our minds are often elsewhere.

This is the way it is for most people because we live in the age of distraction. Text messages, phone calls, emails, FaceBook, instant messaging and on and on….

Not everyone though.

You see a special few have a secret way to stay focused even when its absolute chaos all around them. They float through life and wonder why everyone else is struggling and failing, while they just keep on winning and enjoying a full and happy life.

Copy What Highly Successful People Do

High achievers are different in one special way. They have the ability to focus and get things done even when they are bombarded by distractions and interruptions. They`re like a dog with a bone – they have a Super Focus state of mind that makes them unstoppable. And if they are listening to you nothing will get in the way of their full and complete attention on what you are saying. This if course is the basis of creating trust and rapport in any conversation.

If you could focus like this and maintain deep concentration when you talk to people  you`d be much more successful in conversation and even happier because you`d become more popular with the people you meet.

The Easy Way

For me, I use the Super Focus state of mind, to get what I want. In fact I used it just before writing this message to you. It`ll help me stay focused and enjoy a productive day. And best of all its easy to do. You can do it too. Be like highly successful people and focus like never before and you`ll have more fun and deeper rapport when you engage in conversation.

I explain how at this new page:

http://www.peterwmurphy.com/superfocus.html

How To Deal With People That Don’t Listen

It can be very difficult to know how to deal with people that don`t listen. One of the most frustrating things for anyone is to be talking to a family member, a friend, co-worker or an audience and find that those you are talking to are not listening. Sometimes it is like you are talking to a wall, with no response.

When people do not listen to you, especially when you are trying to say something important, and they don`t listen you may well become aggravated. However, that does not help the situation.

Thankfully, there are some things you can do to deal with people that don`t listen.

1. Pause while talking

This is especially important if what you have to say will take some time. The average adults attention span is relatively short and their attention can wander to other things while you are talking.

Bring their attention back to you and what you are saying pause every so often by pausing. This gives the other person an opportunity to process what you have said and ask questions. Pausing while you are talking opens the door for the other to become involved in what you are saying. Make the conversation an interactive one if at all possible if you want people to listen.

2. Minimize distractions for the listener

If you need to talk to someone one-on-one about something important, find a place, like an office or a separate room, where you won`t be bothered by other people. There is almost nothing worse than to have people constantly walking in and out of a room while other people are trying to listen to you.

If you are talking to a group of people, like when making a presentation or doing a lecture, be sure that the room you use has few distractions and that people are not going in and out while you are speaking.

Also, use props like charts or slide projections to keep your audience focused to the front and on you. Before you begin your presentation advise your audience that you would like them to turn off their cell phones and put laptops away. Both cell phones and laptops can be a huge distraction for people and can keep them from listening to you.

Ringing cell phones and conversations on them will distract more people than just the ones using them. Any distraction will interfere with peoples ability to effectively listen.

3. Use appropriate language

What we are talking about here is using language that your audience is familiar with.

You may be well educated and have a great command of language, but your audience may not. If they do not understand what you are saying you will most certainly cause them to wonder what the heck you are talking about.

If they can`t figure out what you mean they will lose interest and you lose the attention you need from them and they will become distracted with other thoughts.

4. Give people a reason to listen

Most people listen and listen better when they know they will benefit, in some way, from what you have to say.

Sales people use this technique with customers all the time because they know that the customer is only interested in what will benefit them. Before starting to talk, tell your audience why their attention is important and how what you have to say will be beneficial to them.

When people don`t listen to us it is frustrating and sometimes aggravating. But because we are the ones talking, the responsibility for their listening often rests on our shoulders. The next time you are faced with someone not listening to you try some of these techniques to help you deal with people who don`t listen.