In the past, the best listeners have reaped great benefits from their skillset; but now listening well is a life or death proposition. — Tom Peters
The best leaders do it. The best speakers do it. The best consultants do it. The best sales people do it. The best teachers do it. The best parents do it. Your best friend probably does it, too.
What do all these people have in common?
They know how to listen.
Good presentations start with listening. Good sales start with listening. Good employee, customer, and family relationships start with listening.
When you listen well, you understand more. And learning to ask good questions only deepens your understanding. The more you understand, the better you can help. And–if you’re in business–the more you can help, the more you can earn.
Want to improve your relationships and bottom line? Here are six links to help you learn to listen and ask questions like a pro:
Steve Shapiro (video): Stop Being a Know-it-All. Are you a great listener or a great talker? Although he doesn’t mention it by name in the video, Steve approaches the topic with the zen concept of beginner’s mind.
Peter Bregman (HBR blogs): How Not to Lose a Sale. Talking may cost you business while listening can win you business.
Renovate (blog): Insights on Sales and Presenting from Dan Pink’s New Book, To Sell Is Human. Good listeners can help prospects and clients uncover problems they didn’t know they had. Which gives you the opportunity to help solve them.
Brooke Howell (SmartBlogs): Andrew Sobel, on the power of asking questions. People who listen (as well as talk) are more appealing and interesting.
Shane Snow (FastCompany): The One Conversational Tool That Will Make You Better At Absolutely Everything. Learn to listen and ask the right kinds of questions.
Kevin Cashman (FastCompany): How To Ask–And Listen–Like You Mean It. How to listen and ask authentic questions.