The buzzword active listening is something that a lot of trainers and consultants throw around a lot; but few really understand what it means. In my opinion, it is one of the major keys at winning the sale. So, let’s take a closer look at it.
Presence means to be there.
A little bit menial at first glance, you can find a deeper meaning if you focus on the implications. Many think this translates to “showing up.” But that is not enough. “There” does not mean across from your client. That’s only halfway. To be there means you give your undivided attention to the person you talk to.
You want to not only listen carefully to understand what the other party says, but you want to also at the same time try to listen why the person says it. In other words, you try not only to comprehend the surface information, in addition, you also listen for the motivation behind the words.
Active listening is not easy. But it is worth it.
If you truly listen to the other person, you immerse yourself in the situation. You want them to show themselves, you want them to talk most of the time, you want to get them to feel understood and valued. If you show your clients true appreciation and you signal back that you are on the same wavelength, that’s the work.
Presence means to be there right now.
“There” also incorporates a temporal dimension. It’s not time to let your mind wander or daydream. You don’t want to get distracted by chores or other “stuff.” Make sure that you know how you close your mind off of these disturbances.
Meditation is an excellent practice to train your mind to focus on simple things. I won’t go into details here, but it is something at what you may want to take a look.
As you start to focus at something else than the talk and the person in front of you, your face will show it. You will look phased out, bored, or arrogant. And that’s unfavorable in front of anybody.
Earl Nightingale wrote that you want to treat everybody as if they were the most important person in the world. And in their life, that is true, they are the most important person in their world. What he was talking about was really nothing but presence.
Show yourself that you can be present and practice it with the next conversation you encounter. Enjoy it and reap the benefit of it. See the change in other people as you become their trusted advisor. That’s the power active listening.
Author: Marc Breetzke, M.A., M.A.
MB Inspirations is your trusted advisor to increase business performance especially in sales and human resources. We consult, train and coach companies and individuals strategically, systematically, and sustainably in order to continuously and never-endingly improve productivity.
Marc Breetzke, M.A., M.A. is the founder of MB Inspirations and he works with businesses and organizations worldwide as a leading-edge business strategist, consultant and lecturer.
Florian Dietzel, B.A. most recently joined the MBI-Team as Junior Sales Consultant to assist our clients. Please don’t hesitate and send us your questions, comments, and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.