Connections aren’t about talking, they’re about listening

Newsletter 2

If you speak less, you can listen more!

In July I finished the first season of «Let’s Connect Live» interviews with prominent members of clubimpulso.net

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed listening to the insights from this mastermind group who appeared on my podcast last season.

And the key is precisely to listen. The more I heard to learn, the better I would ask questions.

Do you like to be a good business connector? Or better yet, how do you teach yourself as a human being to be more open, to listen more and respect the opinions of others if you are not willing to understand other points of view?

The first step is to learn to listen and to let the other person know that you are listening. Listening to others is the only way to realize how much you know and how you can help others.

I know you’re thinking “I always listen” because active listening is something that we have been told to practice since childhood, but unfortunately for many of us this advice has gone, well, in one ear and out the other.   We are very focused on asking questions and not so much on listening to the answers, figuring out how to probe and look for evidence, and then weighing and balancing all that information, looking for additional input to come to reasoned conclusions and ways of looking at the world. But when we listen with curiosity, we want to know more. That allows someone to be truly heard and understood.

Three effective ways to do this are asking questions, paraphrasing and echoing.

Never be afraid to ask questions to confirm that what you are hearing is the message the other person is conveying. Asking questions also tells the other person that you are listening, that you understand, and that you are solidifying what you have heard. Therefore, asking questions is not only the key to better listening but also to building more effective connections.

To paraphrase, you simply summarize what the other person has said.

With echoing, you repeat part of what the other person has said. Studies have shown that when people echo, they are generally more well-liked by the person they are echoing.

To conclude this article, I would like to highlight the six secrets of a great ask that my friend Judy Robinett wrote in her book «How to be a power connector. The 5+50+100 rule for turning your business network into profits»:

  1. Start small: Often the best thing to ask for first is advice, «If you were in my shoes, what would you do?
  2. Make your ask specific to make it easier to fulfil.
  3. Make your ask appropriate to the person, room, and ecosystem.
  4. Build your ask around a story that expresses your passion. People buy with emotion and justify with logic, and the same is true when it comes to «selling» you ask.
  5. Be willing to ask for help.
  6. Whether or not people are able to fulfil your ask, express your gratitude for their time and ask them to keep you in mind. If they can’t help you themselves, they may be the conduit to someone who can fill your need.

Remember, being a good listener isn’t something that comes naturally to all people, but a skill to be learned.

Happy week!

*** BEFORE YOU GO

Quote of the Week: “The only way to have a life is to commit to it like crazy”.- Angelina Jolie

The above article is a weekly summary of my thoughts on my work as a connector that is ready for leaders around the world.

You can also enjoy the Let’s Connect Live where I interview business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians and inspirational thinkers.

Jose Raul Vaquero is President of the documentalistas.org Foundation and Founder of clubimpulso.net which connects more than 100,000 professionals from 24 countries. For this work, he has been recognized by several governments and organizations. Finally, he’s also the Founder of the Young Politicians of the Americas community.