Listen Speak and Speak While Listening


Imagine knowing how to communicate verbally with just about anyone, confident that the meaning, what you want to say, is fully understood.

Listenspeak™ is the discipline of keeping whom you are talking to in mind as you talk with them; after all, it’s what they heard, not what you meant to say that matters. It is simple in theory, but hard to master, particularly when things get intense. ListenSpeak™ is the partner to Active Listening.​

It’s what they heard, not what you meant to say that matters

Most of us feel compelled to “get it off our chests,” “to shoot from the hip,” to express our point of view at any cost. While this may relieve us of inner pressure, shooting without aiming can miss the target, or worse, kill innocent bystanders.

How many times have you seen someone pulling their hair out, red in the face, saying, “if I told them once, I told them a hundred times!” If the definition of telling is making sounds, they were right, but if it involves getting an idea across so the other person understands it, then whom did they tell, themselves?

Time spent listening while talking, or editing writing carefully, is never wasted, if you want to be understood!

Getting Real

What others hear is what matters, not what we say, and words are tricky things; the same words can mean different things for different people. Real communication means using the right words, in the right way, at the right time for the person you want to communicate with.

How to listen with the other person in mind

Some of the same skills you learned to actively listen can help with learning how to ListenSpeak™. The main difference is rather than be led by what the person is saying, in talking you must be led by the person’s non-verbal cues, and your knowledge of the person from experience. For instance:

Active Listening ListenSpeak™
Look and Sound Interested in the Speaker Look and Sound Calm, Engaged, and Caring
Maintain Good Eye Contact Observe their body language and breathing looking for signs of fear, or confusion.
Adopt the speaker’s point of view “Listen” to the other person’s body language. If they talk softly –talk softly; fast and to the point, be fast and to the point –match their tone of voice and their rate of speaking.
Clarify the speakers thoughts and feelings Say it the way they would say it. Do they use “feel,” “see”, or “hear,” or do they speak objectively, using “think” or the third person.
Use Reflective Responses Have them reflect back what was said (Active Listening) to be sure they understood.

Frame your words according to the listener’s point of view. Psychologists know that some people relate to the world through their sense of touch, others through their eyes, and others through their feelings and others are objective, and may even speak in the third person. Unless they are very well trained at deception, they will let you know which they are most comfortable with by their choice of words.

You Need a Bit More than just a blog post to master speaking and listening...

Poor communication on the job and in life is like a vampire that sucks out resources leaving behind too many mistakes and  too much misunderstanding

  • Infighting and resentment
  • Back-Stabbing,
  • Micromanagement
  • Fear
  • Turnover
  • and LO
  • And LOSSES

About the Author

Dan Strongin works with medium to small companies, helping them master the art and science of managing.

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