What's your point?
I am trying to listen more, but find the more I listen, the more people like to talk, and talk and talk. I know the premise that the more you let people talk the more they like you, but I am actually happy to be liked a little less if they would just stop talking.
Many people talk because they want affirmation, they want you to listen and that makes them feel good in themselves. They may not actually have a lot to say, but they say it many different ways. I know.
The most confusing thing I find is when the person says one thing, but their body language says something entirely different.
So, please, if you have something to say, keep it short and let other people talk as well. Conversation is just that, a conversation, not one person talking the whole time.
How, do I know this, because, yes, I have been very guilty of being the one who talks and talks and talks and talks and talks.............and talks....and talks. I was so busy talking I never noticed how it was affecting the people around me, like the man in the photo.
A conversation is like the sea, it comes in and out, it goes two ways. The biggest mistake I have found over the years is having my answer ready before the person has finished talking, sometimes even when they have just started, and it is so good, I just had to share before they finished. That is called interrupting.
I have found one of the best ways to listen is to work really hard not to prepare my answer whilst the person is talking. I listen, pay attention fully, quieting my mind and wait till they finish, it is amazing how quickly our brains will give us stuff to say. Then to repeat back what I think I heard and then to give my answer once the person has affirmed I heard correctly. This also allows me to notice their body language, are they nervous or are they confident? Is this really an objection, are they truly confused or just a stall?
Sometimes, when you say back what you thought you heard they will even answer the question themselves, and much better than you could because they are persuading themselves of the answer rather than listening to you. All you have to do is agree, if it is correct.
The other thing I am learning is to not have a set opinion, but to truly have an open mind and to listen to other people's opinions fully before thinking about an answer. We are so programmed today to give an answer, be it in person, or just in response to a headline without even reading the full story. We live in a sound bite world and react with our own.
I have found clients like being heard. It helps with communication, I also make sure they have heard what I said before we proceed so I am confident they understand the process fully and know what to expect. This way, there are less surprises and the home buying process moves ahead smoothly even when something unexpected might happen.
Sometimes, people talk and talk because they have not really formulated their thoughts, and they do this as they speak, I am guilty of this, and it does not lead to being succinct. Rather, one rambles and this makes it hard for others to understand your point. What is your point?
So, keep it short, think about what you are going to say, repeat what you heard the other person say to make sure you understood their point and finish with a question that keeps the conversation flowing.
All, this being said, there are times where we are not expected to speak, but merely to listen, and sometimes to hug the other person. Less words, more hugs can say a lot more than words ever can. In lieu of Valentine's Day, share a hug where you might have said something.
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