“Effective listening is more than simply avoiding the bad habit of interrupting others while they are speaking or finishing their sentences. It's being content to listen to the entire thought of someone rather than waiting impatiently for your chance to respond.”
~ Richard Carlson, Author of “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”, MacMilian Publishing Company
In work life, we all know that effective listening is a fundamental skill to improving business relationships. Effective listening is not an easy task. By applying some patience to your next conversation with a customer, you can really make a positive impact on the conversation.
Why do we interrupt? One reason is because we want to prescribe or fix the solution before hearing the whole story. We think that jumping to a resolution (right or wrong) will give us the image of intelligence and swiftness. Think about the last time you went to the doctor. Did they fully listen to your problems? Did they try to interrupt and prescribe a certain medication right in the middle of your discussion? Doctors are typically very good listeners… and do not jump to prescriptions until your symptoms are fully understood and confirmed.
Simply put, interrupting can be rude. Don’t we teach our children that it is not acceptable behavior to interrupt? You may be thinking: But I have something brilliant, humorous, clever, or clarifying to say! Of course, you do. We all do. There is a good place and time for this but please wait until the other person has stopped talking.
Good listeners truly believe that talking to a customer is a gift. Even if the conversation is a complaint, the customer is giving you the chance to correct yourself or make your business better. Swallowing pride is difficult at times, but it shows humility. Most people are attracted to humbleness, but business leaders sometimes do not show it. We are too busy talking about how good we are.
It is very wise to show the other person in your conversation that you value what they are saying. Good listeners realize that the conversation can educate you. Looking back at a conversation, you may realize that everything would have explained itself to you if you had only stopped interrupting.