WE ALL HAVE TWO EARS BUT ONE MOUTH LET’S USE THEM ACCORDINGLY.
Rule number 4
Re-affirm the content avoid misunderstanding and confusion.
It is okay to repeat the key points of communicator,
Use phrase such as “ I am sorry to interrupt, do you mean…” “ If I am understanding this correctly, you are trying to say…”
Don’t be condescending!
Rule number 5 Forming conclusion and resolution
After the speaker is done, then form conclusion rather judgment, so this is relating back to be open minded, but at this point of communication, it is when the speaker is done, then listeners form conclusion and if needed, to form solution, or even resolution. If the listeners are not open minded, won’t let speaker finish, impatience, not engaging the speaker, as we all know, there won’t be conclusion, solution and resolution formed. So time and energy are wasted both the speaker and listener. Even unfriendly, negative relation will form between speaker and listeners.
Now Let’s re-visit the situation again, by applying this five rules we just discussed.
The situation is night of same day, John came back from his meeting/dinner with clients and boss, and Lisa came back from Annie’s recital. In this situation, Lisa and John will switch roles but let’s see if the situation changes.
Lisa: John, Annie’s recital was beautiful, I wish you were there.
John didn’t interrupt, let Lisa finishes, and create eye contact, engaging with speaker.
Lisa: I am so proud of her, she did such wonderful job, she was so beautiful, later after recital I took her to ice cream and she told me that dancing makes her happy and she wants to be a dancer when she grows up. I am so happy. Our little one is growing up quickly and I don’t want you to miss those precious moments.
John was engaged, he had good eye contact, was not defensive in his body language, nodding and trying to be open and hear what Lisa wants to communicate. So what do you think the result of this conversation compare to the one in the morning? The listener applied the rules. John didn’t interrupt Lisa instead of telling her off because he just done long day of work, he was patience, so John let Lisa to finish what she wants to talk about. John had good eye contact which encourages the speaker Lisa to express what she really wants to communicate which is the daughter is growing up, the precious moments are more important than anything else, not because Lisa is sick and tired John keep disappearing, breaking promise, only cares about himself, in fact if you listen closely, Lisa didn’t blame John for anything rather just simply communicating a clear message which we will talk about next time how to be an effective communicator.
Was john open minded and wants to hear what Lisa wants to say? Absolutely! He didn’t put judgment or prejudice immediately, he didn’t see this situation as the one “ ok, here we go again, wife is nagging on me, again!” If needed, re-affirm with the content of communication. In this situation, are you trying to say that we should value more the precious moments of our daughter growing up.
What if the conversation takes place without any of the rules, what do you think it will be happen? John will interrupt Lisa by saying” hey I put food on table, education for our daughter, I need to do this, don’t u understand” He probably will be defensive through the conversation have his arm across, look away rather creating eye contact with Lisa, since John is already defensive do you think he will be open minded? Of course not, then what conclusion will result from this conversation. Nothing will be resolved, nothing was established, most likely John probably storm out the door.
What is the value of being good listeners then? Resolve potential unnecessary conflict, avoid miscommunication, confusion, but most important create between relation and safe environment between the speaker and listener; create good positive relation between the parties. In this situation we talk about it above, it saves a marriage and family. Men and women can both be good listeners, good listening skill has nothing to do with gender, it is more or less following the rules, getting the correct information then form logical conclusion.
We just discuss some basic situation five basic rules that you can apply in your daily life, with your colleagues, family members, potential clients, clients and even enemy if you want communicate. Most people will struggle with patience especially in Asia, everyone is rushing, getting to places, getting things done, but don’t be discouraged, before you have desire to interrupt, take a deep breath, give yourself a mental notes that you need to let the speaker finishes before you express any opinion or solution. It takes practice to master the basic rules, be patient, practice and you will be a great listener in no time. It is always like playing poker, be patient, hold all your cards, let others unfold their cards first.
If you are like me, working with different people everyday, let your client or patients communicate first, through the content you can have better understanding of their agenda and even profile how to communicate with them effectively.