Are you the Interrupter? Or the Yes, I Hear You...But I'm Thinking About What I'm Going to Say Next, Type of Listener?

By
Real Estate Agent with REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF BRE #01824145

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.

When It Comes To Listening

"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. 

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  1. Judi K Barrett 10/24/2010 05:08 AM
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Rainmaker
675,254
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF - Temecula, CA
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate

Neda:  that really shows when the other person is not listening one bit -- when you're answering their own question!!  Gotta laugh at that...

Steve, thanks.  I believe that's true.  Some people are naturally good listeners and are 100% focused on the client.  IMHO, It is something that can be learned if willing.

Michael:  so true.  I think it is easy to get caught up in multi-tasking because of the technology we have at our fingertips, that it is all so one-sided maybe we forget that we are talking with other human beings.

Oct 25, 2010 11:50 AM #48
Rainmaker
675,254
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF - Temecula, CA
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate

Corri:  that's cute.  What a great way to teach children about interrupting!

Jose:  you bring up a really good point.  I do agree that not wanting to listen to the other person is a function of inflated ego.  To really listen to someone else, we have to set aside our agenda and open our minds.  Can't do that if ego is there interrupting!  :)

Carla:  you're funny!  lol

 

Oct 25, 2010 11:54 AM #49
Rainmaker
675,254
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF - Temecula, CA
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate

Richard:  Thank you for the kind words and compliment. I learned about paraphrasing many moons ago in college, but did I ever really use it?  Not until I got married and had a family, did I realize how important it is to paraphrase what the other person is just said.  More so in this business because the people we are working with are not family and maybe not as forgiving.

Ruthmarie:  I know that feeling too.  @Robert #26 gave a great tip -- be silent for 1-3 seconds after a person finishes speaking before jumping in.  I think that is a great idea and I'm going to try that.

Fernando:  I can tell you are speaking from experience.  When going on a listing presentation it is easy to get caught up with bringing all the marketing and stuff we are going to do for the client, and maybe if we step back and listen first....thanks for sharing that!

Oct 25, 2010 12:07 PM #50
Rainmaker
675,254
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF - Temecula, CA
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate

Brian:  that's funny.  I think that's called learning the hard way...lol

Aaron: got a laugh from your comment.  May everyone you talk to today is a good listener....

Brian:  I love that book.  You mention being genuinely interested, if we are genuinely interested, then being a good listener would be natural.

 

Oct 25, 2010 12:11 PM #51
Ambassador
1,541,952
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Pamela, interrupting is very rude, and if we have that bad habit we need to get a hold of it and learn to hold our tongue and get our mind engaged with the other person while they are talking. There is a problem realistically with some people. They NEVER stop talking.

Oct 25, 2010 12:22 PM #52
Rainmaker
123,489
Karen Pannell
Real Living / Home Realty - Owensboro, KY
Owensboro KY Real Estate -270-903-2167 Homes, Cond

Pamela,

Thanks - I needed to hear this!

kp

Oct 25, 2010 12:23 PM #53
Rainmaker
675,254
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF - Temecula, CA
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate

Joan:  You are so right - communication is key.  In our business, we have to be good communicators.

Karen:  I have found that my younger clients do listen to me.  Maybe because it's the obvious difference in age and they think maybe they should?! lol

Donne:  sounds like you have to work with whiners on a daily basis.  I feel for you.  Sounds like you have to explain things over and over to various agents.  One would hope that after you answered their question, they wouldn't ask again.  Unless, of course, they weren't listening! lol

Oct 25, 2010 12:23 PM #54
Rainmaker
675,254
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF - Temecula, CA
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate

Gary:  yes, some people are mild interrupters, but there are those, few and far between, who talk in one continuous monologue.  You'd think they would know how they come across.  You're right though, interrupting is rude, and IMO disrespectful to the other person. 

KP:  you're welcome. :)

Thanks to everyone for all the great comments.  I am motivated all the more to observe my listening skills and improve them!

Oct 25, 2010 12:28 PM #55
Rainer
160,713
Sajy Mathew
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals - Lancaster, PA

The best tool for you to have in your pocket is being able to listen.  As salepeople we want to make sure we get our point across but most of the time you can listen, take in what the client is saying and wanting and actually make out better because you end up addressing everything the client desired because you actually heard their needs and wants.

Oct 25, 2010 01:10 PM #56
Rainmaker
675,254
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF - Temecula, CA
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate

Sajy:  good point. I believe that the best sales people find out what the client needs.  Our clients have wants, and it's good to consider them, but what is it they need?  When we can help them with that we're providing the best service.  Thanks for commenting,

Oct 25, 2010 01:18 PM #57
Rainer
41,564
Amy Prumo
Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate Co. - Marathon, FL

well said

Oct 25, 2010 01:27 PM #58
Rainmaker
675,254
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF - Temecula, CA
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate

Amy:  thanks,

Oct 25, 2010 01:35 PM #59
Rainmaker
327,322
Doug Reynolds
Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Realtor - Sacramento, CA

Steven Covey said it best, "Seek to understand before being understood".  Great blog!

Oct 25, 2010 02:01 PM #60
Rainmaker
675,254
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF - Temecula, CA
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate

Doug:  thanks!

Oct 25, 2010 02:08 PM #63
Rainmaker
167,923
Kate McQueen, SRS
KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY CLEAR LAKE NASA - League City, TX
Houston Bay Area Real Estate

Like you said about the agent that talked over you with a "continuous monologue," and you began to avoid him.  People don't like to be around people that don't listen and instead seem to enjoy hearing themselves talk.  In writing there's a rule called "economy of words."  This could apply in conversation as well!

Oct 25, 2010 02:22 PM #64
Rainmaker
675,254
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF - Temecula, CA
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate

Kate:  well, like you said, no one wants to be around someone like that and will avoid them.   Good point about economy of words -- it should apply to conversations! Thanks for commenting.

Oct 25, 2010 02:55 PM #65
Rainmaker
1,250,361
Richie Alan Naggar Author PEARLS SERIES of books
People first then business! Ran Right Realty Riverside, Ca - Riverside, CA
on LIFE and LOVE plus Real Estate too!

Pamela....this is one of those subjects that have to be repeated until the hearer finally gets it whenever that is...We all arrive at different times.....Good post and thank you

Oct 25, 2010 03:30 PM #66
Rainmaker
675,254
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF - Temecula, CA
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate

Richie:  Thanks for your words of wisdom ~ thank you and you're welcome. 

Oct 25, 2010 03:35 PM #67
Rainmaker
83,619
Maria Marriott
Executive Properties - Roseville, CA
Realtor - DBRealEstateTeam.com

Pamela...I'm still guilty of interrupting but have to say it's gotten much much better. A few years back I realized that I can't help clients as much and as well as I'd like to if I'm the one talking the most. Listening is a huge skill and it takes time to master it....Thanks for the post!

Oct 26, 2010 01:13 AM #68
Rainmaker
675,254
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF - Temecula, CA
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate

Hi Maria:  We are all guilty at some time.  Listening is a skill that can be learned.  I know I'm trying to be more aware and make an effort to be a better listener, because as you say, we are here to help our clients.  When we do that, we build our business.

Oct 28, 2010 01:15 AM #69
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