In our business we communicate with various people everyday, so I'm sure you've come across these two -- the Interrupter and the Yes, I Hear You...But I'm Thinking About What I'm Going to Say Next type of listener.
"We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak." Epictetus
The Interrupter is the one who insists on talking over the other and refuses to stop talking and listen.
Recently I was working with an agent with whom I couldn't get a word in because he kept talking over me in one continuous monologue. Then I noticed I was trying to talk over him to get in what I had to say, so now the volume of our conversation went up in decibels as each of us was talking over the other. To stop the insanity, I let his calls go to voicemail and listened to his rant later.
I've noticed successful people listen to others. After receiving a call from my managing broker, he listened to my explanation and then took the necessary action to help me deal with a difficult agent. In our business, communication is key.
"If we were meant to talk more than listen, we would have two mouths and one ear." Mark Twain
The yes, I hear you...but I'm thinking of what I'm going to say next type of listener is the one who is nodding in agreement, and saying, "yes," the entire time you're talking, but hasn't listened to a word you said. They heard your words, but the context of what you're talking about has not made an impression. This is more difficult to sort out than the Interrupter because it seems this person is listening, but not.
You finally realize they are only waiting for you to finish talking so they can start talking about what they want to talk about, which is usually something irrelevant from your topic. They have difficulty acknowledging anything you've said, or ever said, which begs the question in your mind, are they stupid? No, they're just not listening.
Rather than be the Interrupter or the Yes, I Hear You...But I'm Thinking About What I'm Going to Say Next, I've decided to brush up on my listening skills.
Let the other person speak and finish ~ Don't interrupt ~ Keep an open mind (that means setting aside judgments or biases) ~ Focus 100% on what the other is saying ~ Paraphrase what the other has said to clarify understanding ~
Stop talking and listen. Really listen to, not just hear, the other person. If we become better listeners, our business and personal relationships will improve, our business will become more successful, and we'll become happier people.