Any seller knows that a potential customer needs to be listened to to understand his needs, and in order to maintain long-term cooperation, you should put yourself in his place, speak at the same pace and with the same phrases. In other words, a successful business is based on a long-term relationship with customers. When you provide them with quality services, a contact is established between you. After disputes or discussions, you move to another level, realizing that you have been heard, understood and friendly towards you. A deep relationship is built on effective communications that build the loyalty of colleagues, subordinates and customers.
Effective or ineffective
Ineffective communication is a wrangle with others, aimed at protecting their goals and plans. It implies the existence of winners and losers. This style of “communication” is rooted in a philosophy that divides the world in two: “right and wrong”, “victory and defeat” or “good and bad”, not taking into account intermediate conditions. There is only one true opinion, so you can neglect the views and experiences of people who can enrich our knowledge of the world and form a holistic picture. Instead, we constantly uphold our narrow views. Success is considered a pause in the conflict, when the defender temporarily retreats. Disagreements eventually result in resistance, loss of team effectiveness and even sabotage, until a balance of power and respect reigns.
Effective communication, in turn, aims to understand the views, feelings and opinions of others. When the two sides listen to each other, both win. Mutual understanding and respect become the basis of cooperation, interdependence and loyalty. Success will be achieved if each side says: “Yes, that is exactly what I had in mind. Do you understand me”.
Effective communication skills allow opposites to coexist – this is the highest ability to understand a different point of view and find a compromise. Why argue about who is right, who is to blame? The purpose of effective communication is to establish and protect interconnection, support and working relationships, mutually beneficial and, therefore, long-lasting.
By demonstrating a desire to listen and understand the position and feelings of the interlocutor (without denying your own point of view), you create an atmosphere of security and approval that increases the likelihood of signing a profitable contract or a deal.
The power of active listening
The power of active listening is most clearly manifested in the work of the customer service department and during negotiations. The better his staff works, the less complaints and more satisfied customers and repeated appeals.
Well-trained employees of the department offer excellent service, learn to avoid disputes and try to smooth out conflict situations.
My training on effective communication includes listening exercises that involve dividing the audience into subordinates (or customers) and managers (or service department employees). The initial goal is to listen to at least three sentences, and then rephrase what has been said until the speaker confirms that he has been heard and understood. When participants demonstrate that they share the disappointment or annoyance of the client, he tempers his ardor. One real customer even said, “Oh, you are so sweet. I thought you would argue with me or accuse me of lying. ”
Once, at a seminar in a construction company, engineers stopped speaking and began to argue and look for a solution to the problem even before the subordinate finished the sentence. Even in a role-playing game, the discussion was quite heated. When you try to express your displeasure and resentment, but you are not being listened to, it is very annoying.
It took several days of practice before the construction company employees learned to listen to ten sentences in a row and began to paraphrase exactly what the speaker was trying to say. Several participants in the training (mainly among the male audience) told me during the break that these classes also help in communicating with my wife. To which I replied: “If you want to achieve more, from time to time insert the words“ Continue ”and“ You are right ”.”
Naturally, active listening helps not only in personal relationships, but also in the work of the service department, in the field of personnel management, etc. Among other things, if you carefully listen to the interlocutor, there is no time left to come up with counter arguments or justify your position . The preoccupation with the speech demonstrates approval and allows the speaker to feel comfortable and open even more. And that means more satisfied customers, repeat calls and sales growth. Effective communication skills directly affect the profit of any business.
Effective Communication Exercises
The participants in my trainings know that the more relevant the topic and the more emotional the discussion, the more persistently you need to follow the guidelines for achieving mutually beneficial communication.