Professionals who are interested in getting ahead often have a great deal of terrific information, ideas, and suggestions to impart. However, that is not what impresses most Executive Management today.
The ability to make someone feel that they are the most important person in the room is the skills that is the most rare and the most prized. Listening to others, giving them your full attention, and finding them of interest NOT because they can do something for you, but because they are interesting to you, is a rare and precious skill.
If it’s so easy to do, why is it such a rarity? I think it is becasue people today are distracted easily and many simply don’t have the mental discipline to use this skill in a routine and automatic way. If you are interested in developing this most prized and elusive skill, take heart. I’ve got some tips:
- Listen. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted. Put down the IPhone, Balckberry, book, memo; trun off or away from the computer screen.
- Don’t interrupt. This is all about you paying attention to them, not you talking to them.
- Don’t finish their sentences. Let them talk
- Don’t tell them that you know what they mean. Try to keep your mouth closed!
- Don’t disagree. Avoid using the words “but,” and “no.”
- Stay focused. Don’t let your attention wander. Don’t look up or around to see who else has entered the room.
- Keep up your end of the conversation. Ask good questions. Indicate that you are paying attention by asking for more detail or clarification. Follow up questions that get to a deeper level of understanding or ask for more information are a good indication of your curiousity.
- Don’t try to impress them. This interaction is not about how smart or funny you are, it’s about them.
Oddly enough, the more they get to shine, the better you look! You probably have already done this: on a first date, in a job interview, or with the boss. Doing it consistently is something most people don’t do. If you can behave this way all the time and make others feel special, you will rise above the crowd.