Communication Skills: Practice DOES NOT Make Perfecton June 20th, 2012 at 10:49 am
Most companies rank Communication Skills as a critical skill when hiring.
Most companies regard Communication as a the lifeblood of their innovation, corporate planning, employee engagement, and business world presence.
However, most companies do little to address the most important segment of corporate communication – Listening.
With that said, let’s revise the premise.
Practice DOES NOT Make Perfect; Coached Practice Makes Perfect.
Listening skills serves as a perfect example.
Few people have ever “practiced” their listening skills and even fewer have ever had a listening skills coach.
Think about the three most common situations where employees engage each other, management, customers or clients, vendors, or members.
The business world constantly revolves around:
1. People with whom you must communicate on a regular basis.
2. People who are angry with your company, its products or services, its management, or its employees. These people can be angry before engaging one of our employees and vent their anger on them.
3. People who do not listen because their minds are set and your employees, as part of their jobs, must explain your company’s position.
These three situations require three different listening strategies.
You do not listen to an angry person the way you listen to someone who is trying to ask a question.
To remedy this corporate oversight, I have created a highly interactive, 60 to 90 minute learning module that centers around “The Other Three Rs” you did not learn in school.
With this new training module, your employees will:
1. Observe The Three Laws of listening
2. Discover three easy-to learn, easy-to use listening models based on listening situations
3. Practice your listening skills based on the models in a small group
4. Receive feedback from the SME and others in the group
5. Discuss the relevance, validity, and practicality of each model with the group
The key learning component of the first model centers around “The Rapport Rs.” This three-step model graphically illustrates the correct way to connect more closely with the person speaking. When you connect, rapport opens the door to successful relationships.
“The Rapport Rs” serve you well when your goal is to establish or maintain a personal connection.
When your goal is to successfully deal with people who are angry, frustrated, or disappointed, you need to approach listening using a slightly different strategy. You need to use a slight variation of “The Rapport Rs.”
When people are angry, you need to deal with more than simple, one-on-one communication. You now must deal with emotion.
With this emotional component, you must shift your focus to a different configuration of Rs called “The Angry Rs.”
And a third set of circumstances requires another completely different shift in the “Three Rs” when you venture into the land of “Aggreeable Disagreeing.”
In this third model, your checkpoint is not simple Communication or Anger but a difference in mind set.
When people disagree with you, they may not be angry, disappointed, or frustrated. They may see things completely different than you do.
You can still listen correctly to them, get your point across, and still maintain positive, profssional, and courteous tone.
You accomplish this with yet another configuration known as “The Agreeable Rs.”
One size Listening Skills does not fit all.
If you are truly interested in improving the Communication Skills of your employees, please contact
Al Borowski, MEd, CSP, PP.