So I talk too much. So there, it’s out and now to deal with it. My business is speaking and communication is my specialty. Speaking is something I enjoy and feel that I am good at it. So what’s the big deal? I mean if you are speaking and it’s getting the job done is there really a problem? Is it possible that speaking too much is a detriment or hindrance to effective communications?
Most people can hear but not everyone will listen.
My difficulty is not being attentive while I’m speaking because I like to “arrange” the outcome of the conversation to suit me. It’s all about me you know. When speaking, I like to “control” the conversation with as many words, phrases, and cliches as possible. I enjoy telling stories that WOW the other party and overwhelmingly convince them that I know what I’m talking about. It is not my fault if the other person is not listening. That’s their job not mine.
What would happen if I spoke less and listened more? My first thought is “NO” I would lose control. But is that what I want the other party to believe? That I am in control? Or would it be better if they were in control of the situation and were convinced that it was their idea. Isn't that a worthwhile goal when sharing ideas? That my idea becomes their idea?
So how does someone develop a technique for effective listening? One way is to really “hear” what the other party is saying by watching their facial expressions such as smiles, frowns, squints, eyes and brows, their various volume and tone of voice, and body movements to name a few. By really “hearing” I mean that people can voice one thing and convey additional messages by the way they conduct themselves. It’s like an orchestra leader at a symphony. The movement of the baton makes the difference in the manner that music is played.
Developing good listening habits and techniques takes practice and discipline but it is worth its weight in gold. To say the right thing at the right time takes skill, patience, and understanding. To listen and hear what the other person is conveying encompasses these same qualities.
The skill of negotiation for right-of-way involves communicating knowledge to the other person in a manner that is understandable and makes sense. Listening is the skill that enables feedback of how that knowledge was received. I have learned in Right-of-Way negotiations to pause and ask questions thus inviting the other party to speak and respond with ideas. Most likely needs and goals will be relayed to me and provide references on how my ideas can become their ideas. In this way successful Right-of-Way negotiations become a win-win for both parties.