Do you listen --really
listen -- when people talk? Good listeners stand to do better in
business and communicate more effectively in life than those who
simply hear, according to Cynthia Grosso, founder of the Charleston
School of Protocol and Etiquette (www.charlestonschoolofprotocol.com). Here are some of
Grosso’s tips on lending an ear.
requires dedication of attention and begins with an openness to
receive information, both explicit and implied. “You’ll be
surprised what you learn,” Grosso says.
your conversation, casually paraphrase what you’re being told; it
proves that you appreciate and understand what’s being said. But
avoid direct repetition, which could be viewed as condescending or
Ask questions. Nothing
demonstrates interest in what another person has to say as much as
questions designed to elaborate, clarify, interpret or respond to a
point that was made.
Focus on feelings.
Astute listeners can glean more than just thoughts being
proffered. “You can hear in their voice how people feel about
themselves,” Grosso says. These clues indicate how best to relate
to the speaker.