7 Steps to becoming a good listener

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Listening is as important for good conversation as speech is. Your ability to influence or convince people increases manifold, if you develop good listening skills. There are many other advantages of being a good listener. These include:

i) Learning from listening:  When you talk, you repeat what you already know but when you listen, you are likely to learn something new.

ii) Active listening is the secret to discover great stories:  Active listening enables you to understand and assimilate not only what is said but also what are left unsaid. The body language and the modulation of the speech reveals all.

iii) Improving relations:  Everyone wants to the other to listen. Good Listening raises the self-esteem of the speaker. At the same time, you also become important in your own assessment. More importantly, the speaker finds that you are giving respect to his views. As a result the relationship between two individuals improves.

iv)Unnecessary arguments avoided:  In the meetings most arguments take place due to lack of proper listening and understanding. It is said that first understand and then be understood. You already know what needs to be said if you listen to the other person appropriately and you have understood him/her.

v) Overall improvement of productivity:  If you are a good listener and make the speaker feel that you are, the conversation becomes more focused. Brevity replaces verbosity and time and energy is saved by everyone.

There would be many other advantages of being a good listener but I think these are enough to convince everyone about the dire need to become a good listener.  How can one become a good listener? What are the steps we must take for becoming one? I list below seven steps which when followed would result in development of adequate listening skills. These are:

Step I: Prepare yourself to listen. Relax and focus on what the speaker says. If any other thought is coming to your mind, put it aside when listening to someone. Do not try to think and solve any other problem like you might miss your train or about the argument you might had with your boss and the like.

Step II: Make the speaker comfortable and put him at ease. Let them feel free to express what they have in mind. Maintaining an eye contact will make the speaker feel that you are listening.

Step III: Maintain your patience. If you are not patient your body language will reveal that. And it is not possible to listen properly unless you are relaxed and  are not in a hurry.

Step IV: You must empathize. Try to understand people by looking at the situation from their perspective. If the speaker says something with which you do not agree, keep an open mind and don’t snub.

Step V:  Avoid your personal prejudices. You may have one style of saying things. You may be fluent in language; everyone is not. So, you must not negate others on any such basis. Give them a fair opportunity to explain.

Step VI: Listen to the body language. You can listen with your ears. But you can also listen with your eyes. Body language is extremely important when you are engaged any critical discussion.

Step VII: Ideas are important, not just the words. Listen to understand the ideas. The speaker may not be an expert in communications and may not use precise language. In that case reframe the sentence according to your understanding and ask if you have understood well.

The above steps to improve your listening skills aptly deserve the time and effort you may spend. The benefits are immense.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

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Elevator Pitch

What is Elevator Pitch? Why it is called an Elevator Pitch? We know that we use Elevator for a very short time. In this short time if we can express a product or service, its need and create a desire to know more in the mind of the listener we have been able to create a good elevator pitch. Today it has assumed a great importance. Many a time people do not have time to go through long presentations. They just want to understand what the sales person is talking about briefly. Then they decide whether to go ahead with the proposal or not.

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Time has become a scares commodity. It has to be used judiciously. It must create benefits that we are looking for. We must come up with the way of explaining the idea that will grab the attention of someone who had many other things in mind. This is where the Elevator Pitch comes in. The primary goal while creating and delivering Elevator Pitch is to get a potential investor, partner, or a customer to desire more knowledge about he said. Further the listener must be able to assimilate the idea the objective of the Elevator Pitch is that is such a statement which can trigger the listeners to involve more people. Because the idea is interesting and the listener has thoroughly understood it gives a listener a power to express to others.

elivator pitch

The Elevator Pitch can be conscious one sentence summery. It can also a one paragraph summery or even a tagline. The important thing is that it must impress in a compelling manner. It further means that the person who delivers the Elevator Pitch must memorize it. More than that he should be able to express it with excellent modulation. The efficacy of the speaker is critical while delivering the Elevator Pitch. So, rehearse presenting Elevator Pitch again and again and again.

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Thanks for reading.

Spin Selling Strategy

Shakespeare said that the world is a stage and we are all actors. It is true and will remain true. But today one can also say that the world is a market place and we are all salesman. We all try to sell something or the other. Sometimes it is a product, sometimes it is an idea and at another time it could be influencing people. But the element of selling is always there. Keeping this in view and realizing the importance of sales I am repeating the words of Mr. Neil Rackam -the creator of the Spin Selling Strategy.

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What is Spin Selling Model?

Asking Questions that are important to the customer is what makes the SPIN model so powerful. Its questioning sequence taps directly into the psychology of the buying process. SPIN questions provide a road map for the seller, guiding the call through the steps of need development until Explicit Needs have been reached. And the more Explicit Needs you can you can obtain from buyers, the more likely the call is to succeed.

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Here is an overview of the SPIN model. Successful sales people use the following sequence:

1. Initially, they ask Situation Questions to establish background facts. But they don’t ask too many, because Situational Questions can bore or irritate the buyer.

2. Next, they quickly move to Problem Questions to explore problems, difficulties, and dissatisfactions. By asking Problem Questions, they uncover the customer’s implied needs.

3. In smaller sales it could be appropriate to offer solutions at this point, but in successful larger sales the seller holds back and asks Implication Questions to make the Implied Needs larger and more urgent.

4. Then, once the buyer agrees that the problem is serious enough to justify action, successful sales people ask Need-payoff Questions to encourage the buyer to focus on solutions and to describe the benefits that the solution would bring.

On the whole, Need-payoff Questions are important because they focus attention on solutions, not problems. And they make customers tell you the benefits. Need-payoff questions are particularly powerful selling tools in the larger sale because they also increase the acceptability of your solution. Equally important, success in large sales depends upon internal selling by customers on your behalf, and Need-Payoff Questions are one of the best ways to rehearse the customer presenting your solutions convincingly to others.

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Thanks for reading.

Wani Yoga & Third Eye Chakra

In my last posting, I had named the 7 Chakras which are important in Yoga Philosophy. The 5th Chakra or the Throat Chakra concerns about communications which we had discussed. Wani Yoga is also closely connected with the 6th or Third Eye Chakra.

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The Third Eye Chakra is associated with the sight as seen both physically and mentally. When I say seeing mentally, I mean what kind of message is given to your mind by what you see. So it is related to your vision. Your perspective and conduct in day to day life normally is controlled by your vision. The Third Eye Chakra is located between the two, and slightly above, the eyes.

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The primary issues involved with Wani Yoga are the control that your vision exercises on what you say and how you say it. Evidently, the content is extremely important. If there is any imbalance in third eye chakra the content is likely to be lopsided. The properly balanced third eye chakra will enable you to speak effectively using your wisdom, the connection to the higher self, your imagination and what you want to achieve during the communication.

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The imbalance in the third eye chakra will affect your thinking. You will be confused. You will be indecisive and feel intellectually stagnated. You will hardly have any intuition and your confidence will be on the decline. On the other hand when the third eye chakra is properly balanced you will develop the following abilities:

  1. Ability to concentrate and think clearly on an issue at hand.concentration2
  2. You will able to detach yourself and not be emotionally involved so as to impair your judgment. When you witness a situation without involvement, you are able to exercise detachment which is so necessary to lead a happy life.
  3. You will be able to trust yourself more than ever. The experience that you have in your life will provide you an inner wisdom which is extremely helpful in all that you do.
  4. More than that you will develop a gut feeling. This will help you take to take fast decisions by identifying your priorities. Needless to say that any action has the possibility of going wrong however remote it may be. In fact when we analyze minutely before taking a decision this can happen even more frequently                                                                     decision making

So the correction or balancing of the third eye chakra is extremely important. Simple exercises in Wani Yoga enable you to achieve the chakra balance and thus develop the above abilities. These are extremely valuable and help in all your projects.

Thanks for reading.

Wani Yoga & Throat Chakra

Study and practice of Yoga is incomplete without understanding the importance of the 7 Chakras. These Chakras are the real energy centers. Wani Yoga particularly impressive the practices involved in balancing Throat Chakra and the Third Eye Chakra. Today I will talk about the importance of Throat Chakra in Wani Yoga.

It may be necessary to give a brief introduction of these 7 Chakras in order to appreciate their importance in the life. The 7 Chakras are described as under.

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  1. Root Chakra is concerned about the safety of the human being.
  2. Sacral Chakra refers to the relationships and creativity of the person concerned.
  3. Navel Solar Plexus Chakra describes the personality and will power of the person concerned.
  4. Heart Chakra Heart Chakra indicates the love and compassion that the person practices in his/her life.
  5. Throat Chakra is responsible for expression and communication of the individual.
  6. Third Eye Chakra shows the development of the individual to have good gut feeling or intuition
  7. Crown Chakra is the ultimate destination of the individual. This chakra concerned his/her spiritual development.

Talking about the Throat Chakra if there is any imbalance the person will be effective with lack of expression. He/she will suffer from the inability to express himself/herself. A feeling of stagnation will be the next problem suffered by the individual. The person might become habituated to holding on to unexpressed angle in tern the attitude will turn negative.

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The imbalance of Throat Chakra will also bring a feeling of despondency in the individual – helplessness to make them heard. Further the person made be afraid of speaking. Speaking to a group of person effectively is not at all possible for a person who’s Throat Chakra is not balanced. Besides, the person will suffer from failure to find the right words while speaking.

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Wani Yoga ensures that regular simple speech exercises along with breathing techniques are helpful in bringing back the balance of the Throat Chakra. The exercise prescribed in this module are simple to understand and easy to practice. Speech is an extremely important aspect of the human personality. It is therefore necessary that whenever any individual suffers from the blemishes described above, the effects of same may be mitigated by practicing Wani Yoga.

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In my next posting I’ll talk about the problems suffered due to imbalance of the Third Eye Chakra. I’ll also describe how the Wani Yoga can help in bringing back the balance.

Thanks for reading.