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Will you listen to me?

Are you a listener? That was the plot of another Nancy Friedman video. When on the phone Nancy reinforced the idea of jotting down important items that you may need after a conversation was over. Some other pointers on becoming a better listener include:

1) Decide to be a better listener
Most education systems teach you to analyze or compute but expect you to know how to listen. The starting point, like many other things in life, is deciding to be better and sticking to it.

2) Welcome the caller/ conversation
This really boils down to tone of voice, attitude, body language. When someone talks to you, are you typing away at your keyboard?

3) Concentate – Block distractions
Ever tried talking on the phone when you’re mowing the lawn? Is the Verizon commercial (Can you hear me now) a mockery of bad cell phone reception or just a cue to get people to try and listen?

4) Keep an open mind and avoid jumping to conclusions
I cannot count the number of times this has happened to me. As Nancy says, assumptions can be made at anytime … before, during or after a conversation. Whenever you call a Help Desk and start describing a problem, ever notice how there’s generally a scripted response first? How frustrating is it to endure through someone assuming that you called for assistance with a bill and be transferred to the billing department when in reality you were calling to get your name of their mailing list?

5) Give feedback that you’re listening
The ‘right’ spoken signals can let your caller know that you are indeed listening. Although sometimes using the wrong words can sometimes give the impression that you are least bothered about what they are saying.

6) Take notes while you listen and review notes with caller
Review notes at the end of a call can sometimes annoy an impatient caller. Are you reviewing notes because you didn’t listen right the first time around? Make the review session a very brief summary of the most important items in the call and always provide a reference (e.g. problem number, reference number, badge number and name, ticket number) incase the person needs to follow up.