Hmmm… Now What Does He Mean By That?

The aim of decent listening is to gain maximum understanding. Many people home in only to the words of a speaker or to the body language or the timbre of voice and fail to listen to the entire message. To grasp a message, each of these is important.

I recommend that to hear the entire message:

1. Ponder the specific words the speaker is saying.

2. Establish eye contact with the speaker. It is impossible to read body language without looking at the speaker. Eye contact conveys that you are listening.

3. Employ your mind to read his body language. You may intuitively understand it because much of what is sent nonverbally is subconsciously understood. If you think your emotions are coloring your understanding, do an awareness check.

4. Observe facial expressions and note how the speaker uses his hands and arms. These will betray information on his nonverbal communication.

5. Pay heed to his tone of voice. Is there consistency with his words?

6. Interpret the entire message when he has done. Respond to what you think he is saying and then listen carefully to his response to you.

Here’s an exercise that can skyrocket your communication skills. The next time you visit starbucks, select a quiet spot. Order a mocha frappuccino and partially cover your face with a newspaper. Now, observe as people walk in. Watch how they communicate… the gestures they use, the experessions that cross their face.

Observe how certain, words, deeds and posture contribute to rapport- or destroy it.

Adapt your own behavior to what you observe!

Joseph Plazo is a renowned success coach. He conducts dating workshops to help men attract women… 24/7!