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Telephone training Listening p8

Hearing is a passive activity - we hear noise going on around us all the time e.g. the tap of the computer, the phone ringing, colleagues talking
Listening is active - It takes concentration to absorb the message, decode
it and make sense of it
What happens when we listen?
1. Distort
2. Delete
3. Generalise

How can we improve our telephone listening skills?
1. Take Notes so that you never need to ask for the information
twice!
2. Listen Selectively concentrate on the key points of the conversation,
listening for relevant details and screening out
unimportant data
3. Listen Actively by responding and verbally acknowledging you’re
still there
4. Listen between the Lines listen for tone, pitch, speed to get into step with the speaker
5. Listen with Empathy seeing the situation form the speakers point of view:
“I can understand how you must feel”
6. Summarise Make short summaries as you go along to check
you are on the right track

SOME THOUGHTS ON LISTENING
 

  • The reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is that we may listen more and talk less
  • There are those who listen, and those who wait to talk
  • The more you speak, the less you’ll learn
  • We devote much more effort to making ourselves understood than to making ourselves understand
  • Make time to listen. It is a personal discipline. Good listening is physically demanding
  • It I listen, I have the advantage. If I speak, others have it.
  • Filling our ears with all we have learned to say, we are deaf to what we have yet to learn
  • When the mouth is open and the tongue is wagging, the ears are closed
  • Listening is one of the finest positive strokes on person can give to another

“Hearing is an especially important sense, and like smell, it is one that we have particularly neglected and abused. Once you make the start in looking after it, you will experience a continuing spiral of progress. No longer will things go in one ear and out the other – they will remain in your brain.” - T Buzan

TIPS ON GOOD LISTENING

Study the following tips on good listening, and then plan how you will improve your listening skills.

  • Prepare yourself to listen
  • If you do not feel interested in what is being said, ask yourself “Should I be?” If the answer is “yes”, then concentrate on the message and not the speaker
  • If you find that your mind easily wanders, consciously direct your thoughts towards the speaker/subject. Make mental summaries or take notes.
  •  Maintain your attention by reviewing and weighing what is being said. This will help keep your mind from wandering.
  • Ask yourself “Am I letting my own ideas and prejudices affect my thinking?”
  • If you can’t hear clearly, don’t’ be afraid to clarify the point, or ask the other person to “speak up”.
  • Establish eye contact. This will help you to concentrate.
  • If you don’t understand, ask questions.
  • Be patient and make a real effort not to interrupt.
  • Use the customer’s own words to demonstrate interest and understanding.
  • Do not allow distractions to interrupt your train of thought. Remove them if possible.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions. Keep an open mind.
  • Keep looking for information you can use.
  •  Learn to keep an open mind – look for the positive aspects of what is being said.
  • Listen between the lines for information and ideas.
  • Listen with your whole person. The most effective listening involves focusing all one’s attention on the speaker.

This part of the conversation should be so easy! However, this is the part of the telephone call where enemies are made and friends are lost. Everything we have covered will help in your delivery. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes – think like him! Use language to programme the desired response and positive feeling into the customer.

List below the pieces of information that you will be giving to the customer in the outbound telephone call. Think about how you may want to say it :

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