Aristotle said, “Wisdom is the result of a lifetime of listening when we would have rather been talking.”
Being listened to is one our greatest desires and listening to someone else is one our greatest challenges. The fact that we were born with two ears and only one mouth should give us a clue to the importance of listening. Unfortunately, we were encouraged to talk from a very early age. For most of us, we haven’t stopped since!
I’ve come to realize that I am intrigued by this skill; mainly because I don’t do it well. (Just ask my kids!) But even more so because of the power it has to transform lives both personally and professionally.
I will start by recommending a book by the late Steve Shapiro, Listening for Success. I have read it several times, and every time I learn something new. My attempt here will be to outline and paraphrase what I have taken from this book. Hopefully this will help you in your personal and professional life as well.
The short version of what Steve teaches is 2 steps:
4 steps of listening include Attend, Acknowledge, Clarify, and Respond
The long version or “Multi-Level Listening Model” involves 4 steps including Attend, Acknowledge, Clarify, and Respond:
- Attend – To attend is to pay attention. This means putting down all handheld devices, turning off the television, sending the kids to bed or outside, and minimizing any other distractions. Even more difficult than that is quieting the noise in your mind. Our minds are always racing with thoughts like what we would rather be doing, what we’re eating for lunch, the meeting we have in an hour. Try to tune out whatever noise is still present in your mind that could keep you from truly attending to the person you are listening to. In fact, it is better to reschedule with this person for a time when you know you can give them your undivided attention rather than listening inattentively.
Practice makes perfect
Truly learning the art of listening doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice. Continue to remember these steps as you have your next conversation – personally or professionally.
I listen intently to my clients’ needs and goals so I can understand and empathize with their situations. Then I provide them with a plan to help them reach those goals. Let me know how I can help you and your loved ones with your real estate needs. Presto Real Estate Services | (630) 336-1820 | firstname.lastname@example.org.