One of the most frustrating things about listening is when we list to respond, not to learn! In my Professional Selling class at George Brown College we talk about 'active listening'. This is where we ask questions to learn and turn off the response urge. It takes practice. I share stories of times when I've listened to respond versus listening to learn and the results of each. In almost all cases when I've listened to learn, I come up with better solutions because my mind isn't working to formulate a response. I'm not a psychologist and don't know the science behind this I just know it works!
Listening to learn involves asking better questions. The ones that get the person talking about their needs. Questions with yes/no answers...go nowhere...no good!
A business conversation is not a social conversation! No matter how much you and your prospect/customer want to talk about family and the kids (and yes there is a time and place for that), these are business questions: What are you looking for in the product or service?; How will this improve your process?; How will this reduce cost? These are they types of questions that elicit detailed responses...they tell you what your prospect values most...what's most beneficial to them.
At the end of the day, people buy solutions that work for them. Actively listening to learn what those are is what we should practice doing.
Until next time...