The most important communication skill is the ability to listen. Unfortunately, most of us are not good listeners.
Without listening to what is important for your candidate or client, it’s impossible to understand what solution best fits their needs. The simple act of listening will reduce conflicts, lead to better solutions, improve your relationships, enhance efficiency and what we all want – increase sales and profits.
But being a great listener isn’t a switch simply turned ON. Listening is a learned skill; an art form that requires a great deal of effort to master.
The art of communication is the language of leadership – James Humes
Think like you’re the candidate. When you look at a situation from the vantage point of the candidate or client, you can be far more objective about what their needs are. Remember that you’re there to present solutions first and foremost, not to sell.
Validate your understanding of what you’ve heard. Get into the habit of summarizing and repeating the major talking points back to your candidate or client. This will help confirm that you’re listening and validates that you’re both on the same page. It’s also a great way for you to show the candidate that you’re listening and putting their needs at the forefront.
Fight the urge to interrupt. Be an active listener and hold back the urge to interrupt. When it’s your time to respond, practice what is known as listening CPR: Clarify what you’ve heard, Paraphrase what you’ve heard and Review what you’ve heard.