Written by Sean McPheat |
What exactly is ‘active listening’ and why can it be so difficult at times?
As the term suggests, active listening skills can be developed, as it is a skill. Like any skill, it can improve with practice. But we have to see the benefits of active listening in order for us to take it seriously.
Active listening can be defined as ‘the concept of listening that keeps you engaged in a conversation in a positive way’.
That positivity is important, because as soon as the conversation becomes even slightly negative, we tend to have the habit of withdrawing or counteracting the concepts the other person has with ideas of our own.
What is Active Listening?
Active listening has common features, including:
Well, it embodies the whole professionalism of a sales consultant, in that it shows how important you consider the views, ideas and concepts of the prospect or customer.
When we are listened to, we feel valued, important and have an increased self-esteem. Our internal ego is stroked, and we view the listener as a ‘good communicator’ even though they might not actually say very much.
What are the benefits of active listening?
What active listening exercises can we carry out?
Here are just a few ideas:
Active listening can be practised in social settings to give you the confidence and motivation to apply it in more formal meeting situations. If you find active listening difficult, look at what social anxieties you may experience or any problems you have with inattention.
Being self-aware could be the first step in improving your active listening skills. There are many books on interpersonal skills that you may benefit from. By improving your active listening skills, you improve your overall value as a great communicator.
We’ve got a Podcast On Active Listening if you’d like to download that. It will give you some great additional pointers.
To improve your active listening skills further, take a look at our Introduction To Selling Course which contains elements of active listening and much more.
Originally published: 9 April, 2019