In training, facilitating or speaking, listening is one of the most powerful skills there is in being effective. One must master listening to be a master trainer.
According to author Julian Treasure, our mind uses a number of tools and filters. He says one is recognizing patterns to distinguish signal (the information) from noise (irrelevant background). The others are more personal – the (often unconscious) filters we bring to a conversation include: culture, language, values, beliefs, attitudes, expectations and intentions.
Most filters are so naturally ingrained in us that we don’t know that we have filters. We simply learn to adapt with them as indicators of reasoning, judgement and decision making.
We’ve also discovered in some research that we spend 60% of our communication time listening, but retain only 25% of the information heard.
In today’s world of ‘hurry up, get it done yesterday’ and ‘microwave it to go’, we are moving at what seems like the speed of sound. Those statistics were from earlier years. How much are we really retaining now in our fast-paced society?
If background noise and filters are bidding for your listening, a more desired question to be answered for a master trainer is “how do we improve upon it and become better active listeners?”
- You must first heighten your listening by reducing distractions – the world is full of noise.
- Drive up your filters so you know they are there. Acknowledge, honor, appreciate, celebrate and embrace the filters you have in the moment, but don’t allow them to use you or dictate to the trainer in you.
- Know the content – memorize it or as much of it as possible. There is a confidence that will overtake you if you know the material well.
- Own the content as if you wrote it. You become an expert when you deliver the material as if you wrote it: confidence elevates, credibility increases and results are more easily produced with trainees.
- Create, develop and master your own training style. Determine your style and become masterful at it. What’s your personality? Bring it to the training session. Are you funny? Bring all of your best qualities to your training.
- Answer questions and acknowledge statements. This tip keeps you on track and focused on the most important matters.
- Recreate statements to be sure you heard and understood what was said. This little trick helps provide clarity for you and the person speaking.
- Write a story, an in-depth, heartfelt story that touches, moves and inspires leaders. When you tell your stories, they captivate the listener and provide greater details for understanding the material
- Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse – enough said about that!
As you master the above, you will be able to listen for the unsaid, the said and the intended.
We are always communicating. The question really is, are you listening to all of what is being said, not said or intended to be said?
Lisa Thomas is the CEO of The P3 Group, Inc. and The P3 Group International, LLC, publisher of The P3 Power Boost Online Magazine, host of The P3 Power Boost Radio Show, and President of the Board of Directors of NetWorth. She is a 20-year veteran in business, executive leadership and performance coaching/consulting. She has worked extensive with corporate call centers, executives and small business enterprises. She’s been a featured columnist and business strategist on Affiliate NPR, WFDD, The Cary News, Fox 8 and numerous NBC affiliate stations.
Lisa is best known for her business and leadership acumen and is widely recognized her ability to develop leaders to be more effective. Lisa is also a sought after keynote speaker on various topics women in leadership face. She generously donates her time and expertise to a number of organizations and worthy causes, including NetWorth, the Business Succession Forum Network, and the Hazel B. Neal Foundation, for which she recently was recognized with the woman of Power, Purpose and Vision award. In her downtime, she can be found practicing yoga, cycling, swimming, reading a good book or spending time with family and friends.
CEO/Sr. Business Strategist
The P3 Group, Inc.
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