Saturday, February 25, 2006

EQ / Listen Up!

Just another way of saying what we can't HEAR ENOUGH. Listen! You might learn something.

P.S. This is business-oriented. In personal relationships, and also in business relationships, we must give people the space to share feelings.

If you are talking, you cannot listen. In order to hear what another person has to say, you have to stop talking and start listening!

It is necessary for you to recognize the difference between listening, and waiting for your turn to talk. They are not the same activity.

Listening is focusing on the other person and giving them the space they need to share information. Waiting for your turn to speak is focusing on you!

How do you improve your listening skills after you stop talking?

First, you have to want to listen. You have to believe the person speaking has something valuable to say, and that you will benefit from the information revealed.

Your clients will tell you what they need, if you give them an opportunity. If you focus on what you believe they need, you risk sending them on their way without a sale.

Communication is not just about you talking about your product or service. It is about listening to the concerns of your customers.

Several years ago my husband and I had decided to downsize and were in the market for a condo. We visited the model of a new development that looked very attractive.

The salesman was determined to tell me all about the kitchen and the wonderful features that were included. My husband remarked to him that the kitchen was very low on my priority list and that he was wasting his breath.

What did matter to us was the policy on companion animals because we had three cats. The agent said he did not know the policy, but thought the rules allowed only one animal. He completely dismissed the need and went back to talking about the kitchen.

We left shortly thereafter and did not bother to return any calls from the salesman.

We visited another complex the same day that had a real estate professional who stopped talking and listened!

In order to not waste our time, we decided to ask immediately about the policy on cats. The agent was well prepared and knew the answer to an inquiry about companion animals. Cats and dogs were welcome!

The agent also wanted to tell me about the kitchen. I still was not very interested, but much more willing to listen since my top need was met. We purchased the condo and moved in with all three kitties!

Second, you have to give yourself the space to listen. If you life is full of clutter, you have neither the time, nor the energy, to pay attention.

I have assisted hundreds of people to become more organized. In the process, it has become very obvious to me that poor management of resources will create barriers to effective communication.

You cannot listen when your mind is racing. You cannot focus when you are running late. You cannot give people space to talk when you have no space of your own!

Is your paperwork a disaster? Do you over-schedule yourself? Are you buried in clutter? What issue is creating barriers to your listening ability?

If your first thought is, "I don't have time for this", consider how successful you are and decide if you are satisfied!

What can you do? There are hundreds of articles and books on organizing and clutter control. You are sure to find clues that match your behavior style and provide ideas to make necessary changes.

Perhaps you need to work with a life coach to design a plan that will allow you overcome the barriers you are creating.

You have the power to stop talking and start listening! You have the ability to develop your listening skills! You have the potential to create space in your life by proper management of your resources!

Why not begin today?
Mary Ellen Warner, MSA, DTM is a speaker, author and coach who works with people to overcome barriers to effective communication. Learn more about Mary Ellen and her new book "Stand Out in the Crowd! Effective Communication Skills for the Real Estate Professional" at or contact her at

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