Listening in first, second and third person.
First person listening is relating everything that you are hearing to your own experiences. IE, “Oh, I know exactly what you mean about your kids, my Tommy got an A+ in his spelling test!” Ever meet anyone that constantly interrupted your story with their own. Annoying isn’t it?
Second person listening is being able to repeat everything that is said, word for word, like a laser. The benefit of learning to listen like this is that the person speaking KNOWS beyond a shadow of doubt that you are “with them” and understanding them on a very insightful and unselfish level.
Level three listening is the ability to listen and repeat everything back and relate it to your own experiences, all while seeing and being with everything else that is happening in the room, peripheral, or space. Being able to repeat, and relate creates instant empathy and relation. Seeing all that is happening in the room gives you an astute advantage on what is needed next, thus tapping into your intuit and Leader within.
A really great exercise to use on your sales team is to practice this. Break your team into 3 groups and have them prepared to play the roles of first, second and third listening. Then have someone tell a story of what happened to them on over the weekend or on a trip. Make sure the story is somewhat long and filled with some emotion. When complete have each group write down all that they heard in their respective roles. Then put it up on a board for all to see and to discuss.
It is a wonderful way to help them see the importance of listening on all 3 levels. After you try this let me know what your results are. I’m curious to listen!