I always look forward to hearing from Carrol Suzuki. Carrol is principal of Suzuki & Associates - The Business of Listening - and a premier listening coach, serving business leaders across North America.
As Carrol says:
Listening is an endangered skill in today's quick-bytes, hurry-up world. Although listening is one of the most neglected business skills, it's possibly the most vital.
Her newsletters offer brief golden nuggets on critical listening skills, like her current post on acknowledgement, or as Carrol puts it: highlighting, underlining, and amplifying the speaker's words so they know you heard them.
Get out the highlighter!!!
Or as they say in social media – amplify!!!
by Carrol Suzuki, Fall 2017
I love helping people listen better in a job interview. And the paradox is - it's so the person being interviewed remembers to speak in a particular way. What's that way - you ask? It's about being: clear, concise and memorable.
What about the average conversation amongst more than 2 people? I say - "get out the highlighter" (in the old days we used to underline.) Some of our friends, colleagues and relatives aren't very good about being clear, concise and memorable - and for the sake of better understanding - make it your job to underline or highlight the things you feel are important/special/unique. And highlight in color or underline boldly - add some emotional quality of tone or verbal expression or appreciation - so other people really get what was just said.
Some examples - "wow, you really went out of your way to make that client happy", "amazing - saving 3% on the budget and increasing profits by 10%", "amazing - so your teacher said it to the whole class - even tho’ it was mainly meant for you - that she was so proud of how people rallied around and helped their classmates who were struggling with their science projects."
Acknowledging, amplifying, and highlighting a speaker's words helps them understand themselves, expand their thinking, and feel valldated. It also helps others to tune in -- yourself included. And it's fun, once you get the hang of it. Try acknowledging people this week. Create a new habit!