Become a Power Listener in three steps

Listening? What does listening have to do with your job as hard-working and dynamic business leaders or entrepreneurs? Well … a lot, when you get out of your own box and view your role as a workplace communicator and problem-solver for your internal or external customers.

You spend a large part of your day verbally communicating important messages to important people – customers, staff, colleagues, bosses, suppliers, partners and others. And listening is a critically important part of that verbal communication process. Yet, we tend to be terrible listeners, remembering very little of what we hear.

Become a Power Listener

One best practice for becoming Power Listeners at work is to always listen on all three levels. Any face-to-face interaction has three separate but interconnected components – the words we say, the tone of voice used to deliver those words and the visual cues from facial expressions and body language that accompany those words.

>> RELATED: Platinum rule of communication

Research conducted by Stanford University psychologist Dr. Albert Mehrabien shows that words account for only 7% of the impact and retention of the message, tone of voice accounts for 38% and visual cues 55%. Over the phone, we lose the visual component. The impact of words increases to 18%, but the impact of tone of voice more than doubles to 82%.

When we listen, we must address all three levels of messaging by:

1. Decoding the factual content of the words 
2. Being sensitive to the feelings expressed by the tone of voice
3. Observing the visual cues from expressions and body language 

If all three levels of messaging are consistent, the message is reinforced and under-stood. But, if the tone and/or body language contradict the words, we get confused and typically believe more what we feel or see.

>> RELATED: Read more by Phil Stella

This listening to tri-level messages takes concentration and effort. So does transmitting them consistently. But, enhancing this skill will pay back large dividends in improved workplace interactions. 

You might even consider translating it into your personal life as well.

Phil Stella runs Effective Training & Communication, www.communicate-confidently.com, 440 804-4785, and empowers business leaders to reduce the pain with workplace communication and sales pitches A popular trainer and executive coach on writing, communication styles and sales presentations, he is also on the Cleveland faculty of the Gold-man Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.   

 
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  • Next up: Make a great impression every time

    Make a great impression every time

    We are slowly returning to in-person events and we will soon be networking face-to-face again. Check out these six tips to making a great impression.

     

    Now that we’re getting back into more in-person business and networking events, it’s time to revisit best practices for making a Great Impression with the people you meet. The strategy is really simple and easy, yet the devil is in the details of execution.

    Here are six tips to making a great impression.

    Tip no 1: Talk less, listen more. Tell less, ask more. Actively listen to their words, tone of voice and vis-ual cues.

    Tip no. 2: Value their time. Keep the conversation short and focused. Defer to a later time if it gets overly interesting or complicated.

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    Tip no. 4: Compliment. You can give a compliment on a recent award, mention in the media, etc. This approach also subtly lets them know that you read and are interested in their accomplishments.

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    Tip no. 6: Follow up. After the conversation, send a brief email or hand-written note indicating that you enjoyed the chat and look forward to next time.

    And if it isn’t obvious by now, each of these tactics works with networking via email or over the phone. The medium of the communication may change, but the strategy of striving for positive first or ongoing impressions remains the same.

    Like I said, easy and simple. And don’t tell me these strategies won’t work until you try them and can tell me they didn’t work for you.

    Phil Stella runs Effective Training & Communication, www.communicate-confidently.com, 440 804-4785, and empowers business leaders to reduce the pain with workplace communication. A popular trainer and executive coach on writing, communication styles and sales presentations, he is also on the Cleveland faculty of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.   

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  • Next up: 3 things to know: Marketing your business during COVID

    3 things to know: Marketing your business during COVID

     

    While we are still facing a global pandemic and the accompanying economic impact, your business might need a marketing boost. Here are three things we think you should know when it comes to marketing your business during COVID.

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    More tips for branding on a budget include doing pro bono work and promoting customer testimonials. And, don’t forget that as long as you have your cell phone and a social media account, you can produce engaging content and free videos to amplify your marketing and drive results

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  • Next up: Month in Review: May 2021

    Month in Review: May 2021

     

    Mind Your Business was full of great information last month to help you grow your business.  From employee retention challenges to strategic planning—and a compilation of business resource recommendations from COSE members—check out our favorite articles from May. 

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    Podcasts, books, websites, YouTube channels... and some are even written or produced by the members themselves. Check out their suggestions and add them to your to-do list!

     
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  • Next up: Month in review: May 2022

    Month in review: May 2022

    It’s finally spring in Cleveland. Weather is warming, flowers are blooming and we’ve picked a bunch just for you – of MYB articles from May, that is. 

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    Create a WOW budget with these eight tips that are sure to impress old, new and prospective customers.

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    What's your favorite article? Let us know on twitter.

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  • Next up: A mental health check-in: Challenges to retaining employees

    A mental health check-in: Challenges to retaining employees

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