One of the hardest skills I found I had to learn as a business owner was how to be a good listener. Being a good listener does not always come easy for some of us, including myself. I always found myself thinking about what I was going to say in response to what people were saying, instead of focusing on what was being said.
Here are five helpful points to be a good listener:
- Make eye contact. Look at the person eyes. Pay attention. Focus on the person who is speaking with you. Show you are engaging in the conversation.
- Limit distractions. This is a big one for me. In order to be a good listener you need to tune out all other things that can distract you in the conversation. Often times I will close my door when I am in a conversation with a member of my team so they can have my absolute attention.
- Stay quiet and focus on what is being said. Find out why they are talking about what they are talking about. What is the message they are trying to share with you. If you are constantly are focusing on a response you will miss out on what the person is trying to share with you.
- Show interest. Show you are interested in what is being said. Keep a smile on your face. Make sure your body language is open and inviting. Nod when appropriate. Want to learn more.
- Have an open mind. Good listeners do not have pre-formed opinions. A good listeners cares, is genuine and comes from a place of concern. They are trustworthy and do not approach a conversation with prejudice.
To be a good leader you need to be a good listener first. As a business owner developing listening skills takes times to develop. Once you developed these skills you can utilizes these skills in so many different areas of your business. Take the time to develop these skills.