Better communication starts with listening

Paul Nolan

Sales is about communicating, and so is sales management. If you are frustrated because your team is not listening to you, that may be on you, says sales leadership coach Steve Keating. Are you saying anything worth listening to?

“When you talk, make sure you talk in terms of the other person’s interests. Give them a reason to listen. Find a way to make your point while showing them that there is something for them in your point as well.”

Great communicators don’t talk at or to people, Keating says. They speak with them. Get rid of distractions such as your phone, notepad or tablet. “The moment they sense a lack of listening on your part is about the same moment they no longer feel compelled to listen to you.”

It may feel like a sign of respect to take notes while someone is speaking, but Keating advises against it. Jot down notes after a conversation. Writing during a conversation will distract you from what’s being said while you write.

Being a better communicator starts by being a better listener, says Keating. “Don’t make the incredibly common mistake of thinking communicating is only about talking. If you’re not listening intently to what the other person is saying then you may be in a two-sided monologue, but you’re not in a conversation.”