Issue 9 of The Art of Listening
The second part, “he does not interrupt the words of his fellow,” is something which does not come easily to some people.
I’ve always wanted to record a video of my family, my wife, my two adult children, and two of my wife’s adult children – sitting around the dinner table. Everyone is talking at the same time. Interruptions are frequent. The introverted children can’t seem to get a word in. To say the least, it’s chaotic and frustrating for me, even though I talk a lot and interrupt. It seems like everyone has something to share.
Has this ever happened to you? You’re listening to a customer, friend or family member and at some point in the conversation, you can’t wait to say something in response to what they are saying. Chances are, at some time during the conversation, you’ll interrupt the other person.
This conversation then devolves into two monologues – yours and theirs. And, to make things worse, in order to be heard, one of you might talk over the other.
The next phrase states, “he does not rush to answer.” Our brain is wired to have the ability to solve complex problems. We’ve become so good at problem solving it comes naturally to us. Think about a time when a friend or relative came to you complaining about a work problem.
Did you rush to fix the problem?
Before I learned how to listen, I would be talking with a customer about their marketing challenge and I would say to myself, “I’ve heard this problem a hundred times and I have plenty of fixes.” I was rushing to answer instead of listening and probing deeper to find the root cause of the problem or hearing the client’s own insight to solve the problem.
Recommended reading: Critical Connections - The Step-by-Step Guide to Transform Your Business Through Referral Marketing by Evan Leepson, MBA