Archive for October 11th, 2010

Say What?

Monday, October 11th, 2010

(The following post is from my new contributing columnist. Her posts will be under the title “She Says” and will be one woman’s opinion, thoughts and perspective on men and life as she see’s it).

Does anyone really listen anymore? Have you ever been so excited about something you experienced during the day that you burst into an exuberant explanation with the first person who would spare you five minutes, only to discover that when you pause to take a breath, the person immediately interjects their own personal story?… Like they didn’t hear a word you said, they were simply waiting for you to stop talking.

I like to think of myself as a trained listener; salespeople learn the skill as part of their toolbox. To connect with customers and earn their trust, we have to listen attentively for clues about what drives them…about their passions and interests. So when a “customer” pauses, I ask questions or repeat something they said to show that I was paying attention. It’s the polite thing to do.

Why is it so hard for people to reciprocate? Sometimes I’ve even wondered if it’s me. Maybe my conversation is boring or I’m just not funny enough. Yet, even when the so-called listener skips the art of listening and immediately becomes the talker, I find myself trying to show an interest again. Occasionally I get hung up on the fact that my whole conversation just went by the wayside. My mind starts drifting and I’ve suddenly committed the same offense- I’m no longer paying attention.

I think I’ve got the edge though. The talker doesn’t even know it because he’s still listening…to himself.