Do you want to be right more often? Of course. Everyone does. What’s the secret then?
Coming from the guy who has authored over 25 books on presentations and communication-related topics, I’m convinced of the answer. So, in this blog post, not only am I going to share the answer, but I am also going to give you a few perspectives I’ve learned over the years to get you thinking. I will also share some real-world best practices.
So, how do you be more right? The answer is simple. Listen more. The better you listen, the more right you will be, hence the more often you will be right. The better you are, the better your results.
The better you listen, the more often you will be right. – Click to Tweet
Those of us who are married or in a relationship can relate to those times when our spouse shares with us, “That’s not what I wanted. Didn’t you hear what I said?” My wife is a “C” personality on the DISC profile which means she likes it just the way she wants things with no surprises. To make her happy, I need to be an exceptional listener.
Have you ever had an assignment and the assignee said, “Wow, that’s exactly what I wanted?” Remember how good that felt? Chances are you listened well.
I have two mantras I live by, and I suggest you may want to consider them as well.
- My personal mantra is, “Live every day like it’s a weekend,” which means to design a life you love living every day.
- My business mantra is, “Give value. Do more than is expected.”
I’ve had these mantras for decades. In order to really live out my business mantra, I need to be right a lot. In fact, my whole team and I strive to be right, and we succeed by listening.
I think you get my point. Ask yourself how good of a listener you are. I know one of the things I appreciate most is when people around me say that I’ve exceeded their expectations, and I know at the core it’s because my team and I listened and executed accordingly. On the flip side, the same is true when people listen to me and respond according to my wishes. I appreciate that they care about what matters to me.
Listening matters, and it should be used as a tool to make your life better. It applies as a parent, spouse, partner, client, vendor, patient, friend and more–use it wisely in all of your important relationships!
4 Ways to Listen More Effectively
- Take Notes. We take extraordinary notes when our clients speak. When we are on the phone with clients, I’m often taking notes as well as one or more of my team members. We then combine our notes to ensure we are clear on what our clients’ expectations are of us. We do this in person as well. We capture notes on screen so they are visible and can be adjusted as needed so we can execute accordingly.
- Use Pictures. We use a ton of pictures. If someone says they want something a certain way, we ask them to take a picture and send it our way. This helps us understand (or listen) better. I do the same for my life team. I take pictures and show people what I want to increase the chances that I will get what I want in return. Make it easy for others to respond to you by giving them something visual.
- Confirm With a Follow-Up. We send follow-up emails as a standard after meetings and important conversations. We type carefully what we heard and allow our clients, vendors, partners, etc. to see in writing what was talked about–listening goes to a higher level and everyone can be more focused and more right.
- Repeat Back Their Words. I often say in conversations, meetings, and gatherings of all types, “Let me spell out what I think I heard…” I then summarize how I interpreted what I was listening to. If I got it right when I spelled it out, then all is good. If not, adjustments are made and then I, my team, and others involved can be more right in what actions are taken next.