Listening isn’t the same as waiting for your turn to talk.

I was doing some research on presentation styles the other day and ran across something that reminded me of this maxim:


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Listening isn’t the same as waiting for your turn to talk.

I think we’ve all done it.  Sat there and listened to someone talk with our eyes wandering around, drumming our fingers or twiddling our thumbs (in our head) and not really listened to the person talking. Waiting to jump in.  Sometimes I find myself doing this just so I don’t forget the thought that just occurred to me…

But here’s a news flash.  People can tell when you aren’t listening to them! Not only will they be able to tell when you start talking about something completely irrelevant to what they were just saying, but your body language (as they are talking) also tells them you aren’t listening.  Imagine what this does to your chances of landing that account?

And not only do you have to listen, but you have to actively listen.

Meaning you have to make eye contact,  use body language that tells your speaker you are engaged in what they are saying and you have to respond appropriately.  I read an example (Selling Without Talking: The Art of Listening over at CustomerThink) just this morning demonstrating how listening can do wonders in your business relationships.  Try it.

I daresay engaged listening may benefit your personal relationships too.


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