Five Cool Ideas For Better Listening by Michael Angelo Caruso


Last week I took a few days for personal self-development, which I do several times per year. Although I make it a point every day to set aside time for learning, I find it essential to physically attend events for the total immersion and networking experience. I attended the Infusionsoft user’s conference, Infusioncon 2012, a fine event with lots of great marketing ideas.

While there I bumped into a friend I’ve never met in person, Michael Angelo Caruso.  I subscribe to lots of email publications and feeds…too many to read them all. One that I do read all of the time, because it is so quick, easy, and informative is his “Five Cool Ideas” and is just that, five cool ideas on a different topic each time.

Here’s a recent one that is especially relevant for those of us using the phone in prospecting and sales.

Five Cool Ides For Better Listening
by Michael Angelo Caruso

Listening is a fantastic skill to develop because it can pay such big dividends. Listening skills can reduce stress, improve relationships, help you remember names, save time and of course, sell more. Here are 5 Cool Ideas for better listening.

1. Good listeners practice listening.
Use your new skills to impress friends, business associates and yourself. I once earned a speaking engagement from The Nation, the preeminent newspaper of Barbados by remembering the name of Executive Editor Roxanne Gibbs 20 minutes after meeting her and 30 other people.

2. Use simple life moments to listen better.
Stop singing in the shower once in a while and listen. Listen to how the water sounds as it falls around you. Try to identify seven or eight different types of sounds. This simple exercise will teach you to hear nuances in group dynamics and in telephone conversations.

3. Listen to the bass line instead of the lyric.
When in the car, listen to songs you don’t normally listen to. Listen to the musical arrangement instead of the lyrics. Try to identify the different instruments in the arrangement. Try listening to just one of the instruments, like the bass guitar.

4. Turn down the noise and tune in to life.
When you really start to pay attention to sound, you’ll become aware of all the noise in our world. Block out some of the noise by wearing ear protection when flying, using vacuum cleaners and operating snow blowers. Listen to the important things and tune out extraneous offerings, like chatter. I remember being on a hike in the African bush. There was no traffic. There were no airplanes overhead and there was no electricity buzzing from nearby wires. All we could hear were birds chirping, the rustle of small rodents and a fellow hiker who would not shut his mouth.

5. Reflective listening promotes connectivity.
Reflective listening is a way to show regard for the speaker. By giving “verbal nods” such as saying “I see,” “Interesting,” “Hmmm,”you relay encouragement to the speaker and promote connectivity. It’s like eye contact and nodding your head in person. Taking notes when people talk to you is also a good listening habit. Don’t hesitate to ask people to repeat themselves. Ask immediately so you don’t feel embarrassed by asking later on.

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