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The Silent Side of Communicating

Whether negotiating the biggest deal of your career, coaching your team, or describing a project, keep your ears open. Otherwise, you may talk yourself right out of the room.

To be a better listener:

  • Try not to judge. Even if you disagree with what’s being said or the way it’s presented, resist planning a rebuttal. Focus on understanding the message, not critiquing the messenger.
  • Commit your full attention as soon as the other person starts to speak, not just when you hear a word or phrase that interests you.
  • Do whatever it takes to limit distractions. Examples: Suspend incoming phone calls, remove unnecessary papers from your desktop, or meet in a neutral area, such as a conference room. Tip: If you’re entering a room, ask the speaker to wait until you’re both comfortable to start the conversation. In addition, extend the same courtesy when someone comes to your office.

~ Source: Negotiate Like the Pros, by John Patrick Dolan, Berkley Publishing Group, New York, NY 10016.