The Art of Influencing Others
Leaders of every type of organization must be skilled at influencing others in order to achieve their goals and objectives. Listening is one of the most important necessities of human communication. If you don't listen to people, you are missing out on one of the best ways to influence people.
People will always listen to you when you listen to them. One of the greatest influencing tools is listening. When you listen to what's on a person's mind, you will find that communication barriers are broken. Even if you think you know what they are going to say, listen to them.
If you are a “bad listener,” people will think that you are not interested in them. People will like you if you listen to them. How do you feel about people who listen to what you have to say? Isn't your admiration for them high? Others will feel the same way about you.
Eliminate All Distractions
Distractions inhibit good talkers and listeners. It is important that you remove all distractions when listening to another person. Tune everything else out. You want to create a very warm and comfortable atmosphere for the talker.
What Questioning Will Do
Questions we ask people arouse their thinking processes. When you arouse people's think processes, you give them the chance to express their own ideas and feelings. The only way you will find out what you want to know about another is by asking questions. If you are able to help people think on their own they will respect you and like you. You have been able to do something for them that they were not able to do for themselves. By listening to others, you also fulfill their need to feel important. Through your concern, they feel special.
Keep The Conversation Open
In order to listen, you must keep the conversation open. Some people won't tell you everything on their minds, so you may have to question them to keep the conversation going. All of your questions should relate to who, what, why, where, when and how.
What Questions Do You Ask?
The questions you ask must have a specific purpose. If they don't, you will lose credibility. You must ask questions the person understands. Don't confuse other people by asking complicated questions, such as questions with many parts. Ask them one part of a question at a time. Try to get others to tell you "why." "Why" is one of the best questions to ask people. The reason for asking people questions is to get definite answers. Your questions should prompt definite answers, and they should discourage others from guessing at the answers. The therapeutic value of questioning is lost when people guess at answers.