Given the sometimes intimate nature of an attorney-client relationship, neither party wants to maintain a connection and/or continue doing business with someone if she does not feel heard and valued. That does not even address the negative messaging being relayed through constant interruptions in the speaking exchange or the inaccurate inferences being drawn from a distracted or neglectful listener.
Given that listening is such an integral part of the communication process, it is essential that we analyze the listening process and how to harness the power of active listening for the sake of developing stronger relationships.
Fact: an untrained listener is likely to retain about 50 percent of a conversation shortly after it is finished. The retention rate drops to 25 percent merely 48 hours later. An untrained listener's recall of a conversation more than a couple of days ago will almost always be incomplete and usually inaccurate. It is no wonder, then, that miscommunications and disagreements ensue so frequently.
These facts may beg the question - how do we manage to deliver extraordinary client service and superior work product if we remember so little?
Listening vs. Hearing
Listening is a learned behavior. Notice that I did not state, an autonomic habit.
From the time we are born, we hear many sounds and noises around us. As we begin to develop listening skills, we learn how to interpret what we hear and assign meaning to sounds. Listening is not an innate talent, but something we develop out of practice.
One of the basic problems we face is taking for granted the powers we have. We think because we have a brain, we can think. Because we have ears, we can listen. NOT so.
More often than not, we do not listen effectively. Because we live in a very noisy world, we can be overwhelmed by all the sounds. The good news is we also have the ability to interpret the noises, but what we actually do is a completely different question.
Let us learn how to move beyond merely hearing the words people utter to embracing and processing more completely the full message a speaker is attempting to communicate, verbally and non-verbally.
To learn the requisite concrete habits you must develop to become the rainmaker you are meant to be, click the buton below for a free download of Top Habits of Successful Rainmakers. Do it today!
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