Listening is a key to building relationships

Listening is a key to building relationships

by John McCann B.Comm M.OrgPsych MAPS FAIM

Listening is a key to building relationshipsListening is a key to building relationships (both personal and professional), to influencing people, to great leadership, building high performing teams, to making sales, getting listings, the list is endless.

An article from the McKinsey’s Quarterly in February 2012 called “The executive’s guide to better listening” by Bernard T. Ferrari has a summary of characteristics and behaviours.

The characteristics include:
– being open-minded and non-judgmental
– having a possibility mindset
– being quiet and bringing quietness to the mind, using silence, relaxing
– being patient
– being conscious and building perspective
– being humble (controlling that pesky ego)

The suggested behaviours include:
– encourage healthy and honest debate
– engage with interest and curiosity
– show respect
– acknowledge others’ unique skills, abilities, knowledge, and contributions
– let go of ego
– let go of fear (of not knowing, of not having the best idea)
– slow down
– don’t put down or belittle others’ opinions
– question courageously
– pay attention: notice when your moods impede the flow of the conversation
– focus conversations on a bigger purpose and meaning, not on self-interest

It struck me that if people practiced some of these tips they would also experience greater strength, well-being and resilience…some great unintended by-products.

For example, being courageous, patient, respectful, humble, open-minded and non-judgmental enhances our positive emotions, which have an impact on both the listener and the speaker.

Also, practicing one of the best well-being ‘interventions’, mindfulness, improves a person’s ability to listen well.

Do you have other ideas or comments you would like to make?

I welcome further discussion…

John McCann welcomes contact.