Three surprising insights about listening and encouraging others to talk.
Surprising insight number two.
Relationships before agenda.
Busy people are often the worst listeners. Their focus on the task can interfere with the quality of listening. Making a strong positive relationship was more important than the agenda or the topic we want to discuss. This was the second surprising insight that researcher, Dr Emily Beausoleil, discovered in her exploration of good listening.
She quotes Debs Hipperson, transformative mediator, as saying;
"Once we get that human connection, things just seemed to internally shift and therefore we become more open, we become more willing to engage in conversation, we are more willing to hear another person when we ourselves are heard."
So building connections between people is a very important step in listening. Building the connections could be attending to group cohesion or establishing individual rapport with just one other person.
An important step in this relationship building process is accepting people for who they are right now and not trying to change them.
Good listening does not set out to change the other person; it is simply focused on strengthening the bond between you so that you can understand them better and hopefully they may understand you better.
For more tips on how you can improve your listening skills and how you react to others, pick up a copy of our book here