“Listen up!” is an effective phrase to getting attention. Obtaining attention is the first step in influencing others for any reason—including changing behavior and improving self-discipline.
We tend to think of smooth talkers as having the most influence on others. Although the gift of gab is a nice characteristic, being a good listener provides even more of an advantage.
In a study from the Journal of Research in Personality former work colleagues rated participants on measures of influence, verbal expression and listening behavior. Results indicate that good listening skills had a stronger effect on the ratings of influence than talking. The authors suggested that listening helps people obtain information and build trust, both of which can increase influence.
Being a good listener has a definite advantage in matters of discipline and behavior. The reason is that when a reflective question is asked, the person answering gets to talk—so the the person who wants to influence gets to listen. After hearing the person without evaluating, the influencer gets to tap into the person’s motivation.
The skill of listening without interruption can be cultivated with practice. This type of listening creates positive relationships because the person you want to influence feels acknowledged. This is especially effective in discipline and behavior problems because the influence has an opening to elicit a procedure to help the person help himself.
For those who wish for better listening skills to influence, here are a few ways to do it well:
1. Don’t interrupt.
2. Be open to understand alternative points of view.
3. Incorporate some details said previously by the persons into the current conversation.
4. Focus solely on listening!
Learn more about successful discipline.