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Wednesday, January 23 2013

Power Listening: 4 Steps to Conversation Success
By Moty Koppes, MCC
(MMC guest master coach & blogger)

Power listening -the art of probing and challenging the information garnered from others to improve its quality and quantity -is the key to building a knowledge base that generates fresh insights.

In Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All (Portfolio Hardcover, 2012), Bernard T. Ferrari suggests four steps that form a good listening foundation:

Show respect. Our conversation partners often have the know-how to develop effective solutions. Part of being a good listener is helping them pinpoint critical information and see it in a new light. To harness the power of these ideas, you must fight the urge to "help" by providing immediate solutions. Learn to respect your partner's ability to identify them.

Keep quiet. Get out of the way of your conversations so you can hear what's important. Don't hog the spotlight, try to prove your own smarts or emphasize how much you care. Speak only to underscore your conversation partner's points. Your partner should speak 80 percent of the time, with you filling the remaining 20 percent. Make your speaking time count by spending most of it asking questions, rather than having your say.

Challenge assumptions. Too many high-caliber professionals inadvertently act like know-it-alls, remaining closed to anything that undermines their beliefs. Good listeners seek to understand - and challenge - the assumptions that lie below the surface of every conversation. Holding onto these assumptions is the biggest roadblock to power listening.

Maintain focus. Power listening requires you to help your conversation partner isolate the problem, issue or decision at hand. Discard extraneous details or emotions that interfere with homing in on what truly matters.

Recognize that all conversations have intellectual and emotional components. It's important to "decouple" the two, according to Ferrari, as several emotions are guaranteed to hinder communication:

    Resentment and envy
    Fear and feeling threatened
    Fatigue and frustration
    Positive emotions and overexcitement

As with anger and fear, excitement can also distract you from asking the right questions and challenging underlying assumptions.

"The most exciting part is that, once you get good at listening, you will be able to do it easily, almost effortlessly, without even thinking about it," Ferrari writes.

Copyright Moty Koppes 2012

Moty has been a Master Certified Coach (MCC) for over 14 years. She guides her clients through transformational change to achieve previously unimaginable results.

She is an assessor for Credentialing for ICF, serves as a Professional Coach Mentor to other coaches around the world and is a faculty member at Coach U. She holds three Master Degrees in Clinical and Experimental Psychology from Université De Genève and Pepperdine University.

Moty is a mentor and a success team facilitator to the National Association of Women Business Owners(NAWBO), a mentor to MBA Students at UC-Irvine and is an Executive Coach for the Nonprofit Org of Orange County (ECofOC).

Moty is a true citizen of the world,she has lived in 16 countries across Europe, Asia and North America and is fluent in eight languages.
Posted by: Moty Koppes, MCC AT 02:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email