Did you know that there are actually four styles of listeners, and depending on which style you employ, you may be helping communication or stopping it completely?
- The ‘competitive listener’ may be making eye contact, they may appear to be listening, but they are actually waiting for a break in the conversation to jump in with their own thoughts and ideas. After all, they’re much smarter than you.
- The ‘combative listener’ is similar to the competitive, but they’re looking for the break in the conversation to jump in with their arguments, eager for the opportunity to explain to you why you’re completely wrong.
- The ‘passive listener’ may actually be listening, but gives no indication. They don’t acknowledge points, they don’t ask questions.
- Finally, the ‘active listener’ is involved with small interjections like, I see, okay, and head nods. They ask clarifying questions, they paraphrase the speakers’ words back to them to ensure understanding. They’re listening with their whole being and are completely involved in the conversation.
Which of these listeners helps communications and which stop it dead in its tracks? Work with your sales team members to engage in active listening for better outcomes in their sales conversations.