Whether you’re in the field of counselling and therapy, medicine, coaching, finance or anything you choose, you’re dealing with humans. You’re a leader. An influencer.
Since everybody is so busy being busy that they end up feeling isolated and disconnected. One of the biggest ‘dis-eases’ today is loneliness. People feel lonely even when they’re surrounded by lots of people.
What’s loneliness got to do with influence?
A heck of a lot.
When your prospective client or colleague feels isolated, they are disconnected from relationships and inadvertently distrusting. Trust builds engagement.
The best way to build trust is to be a great – not good – listener.
Practice listening skills on a daily basis. Remember Lesson #1 on influence – practice silence when others speak?
Here are a few ideas to help you improve your listening skills:
1. Maintain comfortable eye contact when you’re listening. Do NOT stare!
2. Ask open ended questions, i.e. questions that begin with what, where, who, how and, when appropriate, why. Make the questions conversational and NOT an interrogation.
3. Clarify you understood by re-stating their answer back to them. E.g. “If I understood correctly…“
4. Hold back giving any solutions until they’ve got everything off their chest. If they finished speaking, then double-check by asking a question like, “what else?“
5. Stay open-minded and nonjudgmental.
6. Listen to their words/story and put yourself in their shoes and feel what they may have felt.
7. Do not interrupt when they’re speaking.
8. Use their name often but NOT all the time. People like to hear their own name but not treated like a toddler.
9. Be relaxed AND be attentive.
Have a go today!