RAB Research Archive

Listen Up!



Even though we are in the communication business, we sometimes find ourselves not being the best communicators. This can be internally in our company or how we communicate to clients. You may have heard before that when it comes to sales, LISTENING, not speaking, is the most important skill.

Amanda Ripley is a journalist and author of the book High Conflict. In her book, she introduced a listening technique called looping. Ripley believes that looping for understanding is a form of active listening. She says that looping involves three components:

1. Listening – Listen to the other person, paying special attention to what seems most important to them – not to you, which is usually different.

2. Distill and repeat back – Ripley suggests distilling what you believe the person is trying to say in the most eloquent language you can muster and repeat it back to them.

3. Check if you got it right – Once you repeat back to the person what you believe you heard, you say with full sincerity, “Is that right?” If the person you are listening to says yes, you can continue. If they say no, then you must ask them for clarification.

When people feel heard, magical things happen. People who feel that they are being listened to and heard tend to be less dramatic, be more flexible and they are more open to accepting new concepts, new ideas and challenges to their current way of thinking.

It turns out that listening and looping are not just important ways to demonstrate you’re listening and that you care, they are important ways to help your clients see new possibilities, be more open to trying new things and considering different ideas.

Workers who feel heard like their bosses more. Children who feel heard like their parents more.

Active listening and using looping can help people feel heard, slow down conflict and make the whole communication process more effective.

Try the looping technique this week in a conversation and see if it doesn’t improve your ability to communicate.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB





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