2. Reflect The Other Person’s Statements in Question Form
Checking, clarifying and re-stating are the strongest ways to demonstrate that you are not only listening to the other person, but that you are understanding and seeking to understand them too. It also helps you to maintain your listening.
So, once someone finishes their paragraph and speech, and after you’ve given the conversation the three seconds of space we discussed in point 1; reflect their statement back to them. For example, an employee explains a situation whereby a customer has made a complaint and requires a refund. You listen to the explanation, leave three seconds, then you say; “so, the customer has requested a refund to resolve this, is that right?”; or; “let me make sure I’ve understood this correctly. You’re saying that the customer has requested a refund, is that right?”. Note that in both instances, the reflection ends with a question back to the other person to double-check you are correctly stating, and therefore understanding, the essence of their communication. Once you have reflected your understanding of their statement, and sought clarification or confirmation of the situation, you can then move confidently onto the solution and next steps.
3. Tailor Your Message To Your Audience
Your communication will be most effective if you tailor and adjust it to the person with whom you are communicating. To do this most effectively, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the other person. By looking at a situation from their point of view, you can build insight and knowledge about what is going to be the most persuasive way to get your point across. Developing a strong sense of empathy is key to this, as it helps you to experience what the other person is going through. We always have a personal motivation in anything we do, so even when your job is to convince someone to do business with you; you need to identify the personal motivation that person has, and what they really want. If you can demonstrate that you understand things from their perspective, and have solutions that align with their sense of the world, then your communication will thrive!