The Power Of Listening And Building Rapport

build rapport with the power of listeningOne of the most vital skills for any effective communicator is the have the power of listening. The skill of listening isn’t taught in school, and it’s something that should be developed more. Listening is a powerful skill that can be learned effectively and practiced. It’s amazing how much more respect and esteem you will get by listening rather than talking constantly.

Isn’t it funny how sometimes you can link a specific phrase to someone? I once knew a guy called Ray kept saying “I hear you” when he was listening to me talking. Even though I liked this characteristic, I often wondered whether he was saying that because he actually heard, or that he maybe disagreed with what I was saying. It may have just been a habit and he wasn’t listening anyway.

Either way, there is a big difference between hearing and listening. Hearing refers to the physical dimension of the hearing process, which is when sound waves strike the ear and the brain processes them into meaningful information. To “listen” actually involves far more than hearing what someone says. This will mean a person paying attention and focusing on the subject in order to understand and respond appropriately.

Understanding More Using The Power Of Listening

Humans have basic and complex needs. Among the most basic is the need to understand and to be understood. The most effective way to understand people is by listening to them. Not only that, when people realize you have truly listened to them, you’ll gain more than just their respect, they will value you and recognize your credibility to speak.

Consider you own feelings when someone really listens to what you have to say.

It makes you feel good doesn’t it? You actually feel understood and there is a better “connection” to the person who is listening. When they show interest, you feel they really care.

An Important Element Of The Power Of Listening Is The Ability To Attend.

To be able to be in “attend” mode is where we focus in on a message and filter out others that are distracting us. It’s being able to focus on what a person is saying, and ignoring everything around us that’s happening at the same time.

Someone said once that the reason history repeats itself is due no one listening the first time around. The first time I heard that, I realized history had a habit of repeating itself, especially around bedtime at home! That was when my kids practiced attending. Focusing on what they were doing (not homework I hasten to add), they would ignore me because every time I reminded them it was bedtime!

Our overwhelming urge to talk is one of the biggest distractions to attending.

talking can kill the power of listeningThe desire to talk is immense and it’s so powerful that while the other person is talking, we are actively thinking about what to say next, and waiting for our opportunity to speak. When we are focusing on what we are going to say or interject. Our attention drifts away from what the person is saying to our own thoughts. We may appear to be interested and attentive, but we can distracted by our thoughts or something else that’s happening at the same time so easily it’s frightening! This is perhaps the point where we do fall into hearing and not listening. Our attention has drifted onto other things and is therefore not concentrated on understanding and responding.

True listening is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. This is because the mind functions seven times more quickly than it’s possible to speak. The mind needs to be slowed down so that we can focus on what the person is saying without paying attention to other thoughts or distractions that are irrelevant to the situation.

An Example Of The Power Of Listening And Building Rapport

This example comes from “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield.

One thing Jack writes about in the book is how to use the power of listening to build rapport and connections with people. This is the result from a series of four questions used in Jack’s personal and business situations. The questions are asked one after another.

The first time he tried this was with his sister, Kim. He asked the first question and listened to her answer. When she finished, he asked the next question, and continued after he got the answer through all the questions.

After all this, Kim smiled said to him “That’s the best conversation I think we’ve ever had. I feel so clear and focused. I know exactly what I need to go and do now.  Thank you” He was amazed as he hadn’t said a word except to ask the four questions, and had resisted the inclination to jump in with his own responses. Jack has found that this works every time and frequently uses this method.

It may be useful to look this up and craft your own questions. The important thing is to site and listen to the answers and avoid the urge to respond in any way. The answers given by the person can be just the thing they are actually looking for to gain clarity in a given situation. This seemed to be the case in the example of Jack Canfield’s sister.

Take a moment to think of a question, or ultimately a series of questions you could use to practice actively listening, and resisting the temptation to speak. When you have the opportunity, use your question or questions to experience a great way to build rapport with others through the power of listening.

Barrie

19 Responses to The Power Of Listening And Building Rapport

  • We do not learn a thing when we are talking. We only learn when we are listening. Breaking the temptation to speak can be diFficult.

    [Reply]

    Barrie Evans Reply:

    I agree. Focus on the person speaking is difficult, more especially if there is a difference of opinion. This is why Politicians are not seen as good listeners; they have their own agendas too!

    [Reply]

  • Listening is a gift. Distracted minds cannot and so not listen, they hear…..but it just drifts to the land of far, far away. If you have the gift if listening, it is a far more intimate manner as you will convey focused interest on the speaker. I working on it, I can often listen when it is of interest or something painful for the other person. My husband is so distracted he doesn’t understand about the gift of listening, which used to drive me nuts. Now I see we all have different gifts and shortcomings….so somethings just are what they are. Thanks for sharing

    [Reply]

    Barrie Evans Reply:

    It’s so easy to get distracted and therefore not easy to listen Paula. Focusing attention on the person speaking to you is always appreciated. Thank you for your comment.

    [Reply]

  • I agree that listening is not really taught in schools. They expect the child will listen to the teacher but they never focus on helping the child to understand about listening. It is put across as a commend (you will listen now) rather than teaching them how important listening is in the real world.

    Enjoy the journey!

    [Reply]

    Barrie Evans Reply:

    Good points Mandy

    [Reply]

  • Hi Barrie,
    Listing skills looks make the person more intelligent and understandable. Your post was good and effective. SO, Thanks for sharing.
    have a great week ahead.

    [Reply]

    Barrie Evans Reply:

    Thanks Robin 😀

    [Reply]

  • politicians have their very own way of thinking. IT is definitely something that is unique to that particular group of people.

    [Reply]

  • Thanks for sharing. Listening for most people is a challenge. There are so much to gain by being a good listener. Something I need to improve on.

    [Reply]

    Barrie Evans Reply:

    It’s a skill that many people need to improve on, including me Amaku. Thanks

    [Reply]

  • Hi Barrie,

    I am looking up “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield. So far I have found a download for iphone.
    True listening is an art, “using the power of listening to build rapport and connections with people”
    Asking someone 4 important questions, “doing active listening ” without interuption is genius, a great way to build rapport with others through the power of listening. I will look to find more on Jack canfield. Enjoyed your article.
    Kathryn Maclean recently posted…Social Media Marketing Plan – Use An Editorial CalendarMy Profile

    [Reply]

  • Hi barrie,
    listening is an important part of the communication. And here in your post, I got many new things to learn.
    Thanks fro the share.

    [Reply]

  • HELLO barrie,

    definitely listening is really important. and having rapport so that people will have a good communications, can avoid misunderstanding and many more. i enjoy reading your post! thank you so much

    Jhem

    [Reply]

    Barrie Evans Reply:

    Thanks a lot

    [Reply]

  • Thanks for this insightful .We do not learn a thing when we are talking. We only learn when we are listening.

    [Reply]

    Barrie Evans Reply:

    Listening is a vital skill.

    [Reply]

  • Great Blog…thanks for sharing

    [Reply]

    Barrie Evans Reply:

    You’re welcome

    [Reply]

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