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Spending Time Together - How Leaders - Use Active Listening

Successful people know full well how powerful just listening can be and make maximum use of the effect. I once took part in a support team for one of Henry Kissinger’s trips to Saudi Arabia. At the conclusion of the trip our team of five members was presented to Mr. Kissinger. As each of us was introduced, Mr. Kissinger was told of our individual contributions to his trip’s success. He listened carefully and commented on each person’s contribution as they were presented. He then shook hands with each of us warmly as he repeated our names.

Over an hour later I was walking down the hall and saw Mr. Kissinger coming the other way surrounded by a small crowd of diplomatic officers. As he passed by he turned, smiled, waved his hand and greeted me by my first name. I was absolutely stunned that he remembered my name! Later I discovered that this ability to remember names was common to many extremely successful people.

Years later while employed with IBM, I witnessed an incident that once again highlighted this effect. A truck driver with a major freight line had arrived with a delivery for a regional IBM headquarters. Unfortunately the shipping clerk was unable to locate the order in their computer system and so could not tell the truck driver exactly where to deliver his freight. Out of desperation the driver strutted into the Branch Manager’s office with his problem.

I happened to be in the - office at the time so had a front row seat. When the driver entered the office the Branch Manger apologized to me for - the interruption, and rose - from his desk to speak with the driver. He walked up to the driver, introduced - himself (by his first name) and shook the drivers hand enthusiastically. He then asked what - might be the problem. As the driver spoke the Branch Manager - listened carefully and nodded and acknowledged each point.

Then the Branch Manager apologized to the driver for the inconvenience. He said - that the job of a driver must be difficult enough without these mix-ups. He thanked the - driver for coming to him and phoned the - shipping manager and asked him to come and intervene. He then shook the driver’s hand once again and offered a sincere goodbye with a broad smile.

Here was a top-level manager with a mid six figure income who was responsible for - several hundred employees talking with a truck driver as if he were his equal. Instead - of treating him with disdain as many - executives might, the manager focused intently on the truck driver and listened to him from a position of - respect and genuine concern.

Politicians (at least the better ones) know how to use this - principle. If you’ve ever watched one “work” a roomful of prospective voters, you’ll notice how intently they - focus on each individual. How carefully they listen to each person’s - views, how they converse earnestly with one person after another. They know that the fastest and most - effective way to create a positive and lasting impression - in a voter’s mind is to give each - person the same full measure - of respectful listening.

They also know that respectful listening works very quickly. Thirty seconds of empathetic listening often seems like much more to the voter. And since politicians must move rapidly, quick tactics are the only - ones they have time for! Even though their meeting was less than a minute, you can bet that when voting day comes around the voters will remember their conversation - and vote accordingly.

In their daily lives, most people seldom encounter respectful and sympathetic - listeners. Listening in such a way automatically elevates you in the eyes of the talker. If asked, they will remember the conversation months or even years later - because such listeners are - so rare.

On the other side of the coin, nothing can - offend like being ignored. Have you ever talked to a salesman who ignored your comments and looked the other - way when you spoke? Do you remember how offended you were? Didn’t you want to give him a swift kick in the behind? While paying close attention to a speaker will have a lasting positive effect, ignoring someone’s speech can - create just as profound and lasting - negative feelings.

Active listening is a skill that can revolutionize your entire life. But in the world of dating it’s vital that you know how to properly listen - to a woman. She will find you much more attractive if you give her a proper hearing.

Once again eye contact - is important. You should give - her your undivided attention. If you’re uncomfortable staring directly into her eyes, try - focusing on spot on her forehead between her eyebrows. Move your  - eyes around but avoid looking down toward her bodily charms. (Buxom women hate it when men stare at their chests)

Don’t be distracted by anything. Don’t glance at the - waitress passing by (even if she’s a knockout). Focus, focus, focus. When she makes a point nod gently to let her know - you’re listening. If she - laughs you laugh too (if you can naturally), if not at least smile.

Active listening has as it’s goal the improvement of mutual understanding. But we’re also interested in impressing your special - lady with your listening skills. If you listen well, she will tell others that you are “very easy to talk to.”

And active listening can have an  - enormous impact on others. When you think back to the teachers who had a major impact on your life, you’ll probably remember those who - had excellent listening skills. They were the rare ones who actually listened to what you had to say.

Make subtle facial expressions that reflect the emotions in her statements. Let your eyes wander a bit from time to time but spend most of - your time focused on her face. Whatever you do - do not look at her chest! (no matter how inviting it looks) This is a big no-no and an instant turnoff for many women. Do not look at any - other women for more than one or two seconds.



Here are some pointers on - how to listen actively:

             Maintain a consistent positive tone of voice

            Clear your mind of distractions

Ask open-ended questions that encourage the speaker

Ask questions that - clarify any unclear issues

Don’t draw conclusions or make snap judgments

Don’t automatically agree with everything she says
(Active listening - is not necessarily agreeing)

Restate key points in your own words

Be open and non-defensive

Don’t think about  - responses while the speaker is talking

Avoid even the slightest argument
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