Last week, I was working with a potential client and we had some issues coming to terms of us working together. I was focused on closing the deal and couldn’t figure out what the hold up was. The client seemed to want the services that I was offering but he wasn’t being agreeable to the terms. It was very confusing to me because he wasn’t giving any reasons for us to not move forward. It seemed like he was talking in circles.
Later that day, I was sitting and reflecting on our conversation and found the solution to our issue. He was telling me, indirectly, what the problem in our negotiations was but I was so focused on getting my point across that I couldn’t listen to what he was saying.
Success secret #34… engage in active listening. It is human nature for each of us to want to push our own personal agendas. When we are in conversations with others, we often spend more time thinking of what we are going to say next than really listening to what the other person is saying.
I have learned that the best way to have conversations and successful negotiations is to pay close attention to what the other person is saying. If I had not been in such a hurry during this process, I would have realized, sooner than later, what the real hang up was with my client during our conversation rather than having to call back and try to fix the situation.
Try these three tips to help improve your listening skills:
- Paraphrase what you heard, in your mind or to the other person, before making your next point
- Clear your mind of other thoughts that you may be having
- Look into the person’s eyes or their mouth while they are speakng