Active Listening

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Effective listening involves more than just hearing what other people are saying. Listening errors occur and usually result in misunderstandings, missed business opportunities, premature judgments, and wasted time and money. To get the full meaning of what someone says requires energy and discipline, both of which contribute to what is known as active listening. In the article "Learn to listen, and you'll learn to sell," David Connolly explains that, "the best agents in the insurance industry talk only 20% of the time during an interview with a new prospect, and that 20% is in the form of questions." David Connolly is an independent agent, owner of Splinter Group Consulting, and executive vice president of the Cabinetmaker's Association. David also stresses that listening more than talking is unnatural for most people, but active listening is a key point in building relationships and gaining knowledge. Some tips for active listening include: attending to yourself, focusing on the speaker, and then being able to reflect back. Employing these techniques can help make the sometimes burdensome task of listening more enjoyable and rewarding. All the while, you are building a better relationship by showing real interest in your prospects and their business.

In my opinion, the article gives good advice and tips for better active listening skills. I agree that partaking in good listening skills must be learned in order to attain success in the business world.

This article relates to the class readings on active listening and communication. Lastly, the reason chose this article is because I think that active listening is important in all aspects of life including family and friend relationships, as well as, relationships in the professional work environment.
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