“Listening” on the Web

In my Quixtar business, we train strictly online. There are no tapes to buy, or seminars to attend. We don’t “show the plan”.

So, when someone registers with Quixtar and affiliates with my method of training they have access to an online forum, where they can learn techniques, share ideas, and ask questions. The whole forum interacts with each other.

Today I logged on to see what was going on and found this post by one of our members.

A Quote: Treat every person as if he or she were the

most important person in the word.

THE VALUE OF LISTENING:

1. LISTENING SHOWS RESPECT

2. LISTENING BUILDS RELATIONSHIPS

3. LISTENING INCREASES KNOWLEDGE

4. LISTENING GENERATES IDEAS

5. LISTENING BUILDS LOYALTY

6. LISTENING IS A GREAT WAY TO HELP OTHERS AND YOURSELF

HOW TO DEVELOP LISTENING SKILLS

To become a good listener, you have to want to hear. But you also

need some skills to help you.

1. LOOK AT THE SPEAKER

The whole listening process begins with giving the other

person your undivided attention.

2. DON’T INTERRUPT

Most people react badly to being interrupted. It makes them feel disrespected.People who tend to interrupt others generally do so for one of these reasons:

They don’t place enough value on what the other person has to say.

They want to impress others by showing how smart and intuitive they are.

They’re too excited by the conversation to let the other person finish talking.

3. FOCUS ON UNDERSTANDING

One way to combat that tendency is to aim for understanding rather than just remembering the facts.

4. DETERMINE THE NEED AT THE MOMENT

Anytime you can determine the current need of the people you’re communicating with, you can put whatever they say into the appropriate context. And you will be better able to understand them.

5. CHECK YOUR EMOTIONS

Most people carry around emotional baggage that causes them to react to certain people or situations.

6. SUSPEND YOUR JUDGEMENT

As you talk to others, wait to hear the whole story before you respond. If you don’t, you may miss the most important thing they intend to say.

7. SUM UP AT MAJOR INTERVALS

As the speaker finishes one subject, paraphrase his or her main points or ideas before going on to the next one, and verify that you have gotten the right message. Doing that reassures the person and helps you stay focused on what he or she is trying to communicate.

8. ASK QUESTIONS FOR CLARITY

Look at the speaker, focus on understanding, suspends judgment, and sums up what the person has to say.

9. ALWAYS MAKE LISTENING YOUR PRIORITY

The last thing to remember when developing your listening skills is to make listening a priority, no matter how busy you become or how far you rise in your organization.

What I have learned from this short book by John C. Maxwell called Relationships 101 WHAT EVERY LEADER NEEDS TO KNOW is by being a better listener and treating each person like they are the most important in the world, we will have lots of friends and people will have a lot of respect for us. And practicing good listening skills draws people to you.

(name deleted)

I responded with this advice in addition to the already excellent wisdom contained in the original post:

If I may, I’d like to re-write your post just slightly. After participating on this forum and many others over the last several years, I think a majority of Internet Forum users fail to “listen” when reading a message board; before they respond.

Keeping that in mind…

1. Don’t Multi-Task while reading. If you are at a forum reading a post; give the post the attention the writer gave it.

2. Read it twice and make sure you are reading the writer’s thoughts, not projecting your own thoughts into what he is saying. Don’t start writing your response at the first sentence the writer expresses.

3. Focus On Understanding. Don’t just start “cutting and pasting’ the writer’s thoughts out of context. Don’t find just one sentence in the post to veer of on a tangent topic unrelated to the original thought. Start a new topic on your own subject, if you wish; based on the inspiration of the original post; but don’t make it seem like you are replying to the writer, when in fact; you aren’t.

4. Determine the Need at the Moment. Anytime you can determine the current need of the people you’re communicating with, you can put whatever they say into the appropriate context. And you will be better able to understand them. What they write is “their need”. Address that need, not your desire to “jump on the soapbox of your choice”.

5. CHECK YOUR EMOTIONS

Most people carry around emotional baggage that causes them to react to certain people or situations. Ditto for Forum postings. Address issues, facts, and topics. Don’t insult the writer.

6. SUSPEND YOUR JUDGEMENT

As you talk to others, wait to hear the whole story before you respond. If you don’t, you may miss the most important thing they intend to say. Again, read the whole post. or even the entire thread. Respond to the post in context.

7. SUM UP AT MAJOR INTERVALS

As the writerr finishes one subject, paraphrase his or her main points or ideas before going on to the next one, and verify that you have gotten the right message. Doing that reassures the person and helps you stay focused on what he or she is trying to communicate.

8. ASK QUESTIONS FOR CLARITY

Look at the speaker, focus on understanding, suspends judgment, and sums up what the person has to say. It’s okay to ask questions in the thread, and state your need to ask the questions before you offer a further response.

9. ALWAYS MAKE UNDERSTANDING YOUR PRIORITY.

Its easy to post a quick pithy response, trying to insert your own message or thoughts instead of offering the writer a true response and a chance to further communication. Refrain from that.

Everything else you said (name), is Dead On for forum posting as well as communicating offline.

Thanks.

You could even apply this to Blogging Comments, if you were inclined. 😉

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About Dave Robison

Now Appearing in an Extended Engagement! Join Dave Robison as he takes you into his world and his daily life of reviving a stand-up comedy career. Prepare for side trips exploring Public Relations, marketing and business ethics. Enjoy some frequent detours describing his observations on life. Read the exploits of this self-proclaimed Renaissance-man and blooming blogger as you go On The Road With Dave. From Mobile, Alabama comes Dave Robison, a confessed Internet-aholic, middle-aged-married-man, who's generally a nice guy--he just has one or two issues. Stand-Up Comedy by Dave Robison is available for corporate events, college campuses, and nightclubs.
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