Learn how to master both sides of the conversation. Speak Well….and Listen Better. These are essential insights they don’t teach you in college and can take some people years to master. Start now!
When it’s your turn to talk…
1. Get your thinking straight.
Organize your thoughts and think before you say anything. The most common source of confusing messages is muddled thinking. Don’t have so much to say that you can’t possibly say it all, otherwise you’ll confuse everyone.
3. Get to the point.
Don’t beat around the bush and waste people’s time. Ask for exactly what you want and say exactly what you mean. Period.
3. Be concise.
The art of brevity is a gift. Don’t waste words. Confusion grows in direct proportion to the number of words used. Speak plainly and briefly, using the shortest, most familiar words. To quote Brad Pitt in Ocean’s Eleven, “Don’t use seven words, when four will do.”
4. Be real.
Authenticity is important. Let the real you shine through. You’ll be more convincing and more comfortable.
When it’s your turn to listen…
1. Do it with thought and care.
Listening, like speaking and writing, requires genuine interest and attention. If you don’t concentrate on listening, you won’t learn much, and you won’t remember much of what you do learn. Most of us retain only 25 percent of what we hear—so if you can increase your retention and your comprehension, you can increase your effectiveness.
A sign on the wall of Lyndon Johnson’s Senate office put it in a down-to-earth way: “When you’re talking, you ain’t learning.”
2. Use your eyes.
Good listeners keep their eyes open while listening. If you listen only with your ears, you’re missing out on much of the message. Learn to read facial expressions. While the speaker is delivering a verbal message, the face may be saying something completely different.
3. Make things easy.
Good listeners make it easy for those to whom they want to listen. They make it clear that they’re interested in what the other person has to say and makes them feel comfortable and willing to open up.