The Power of Active Listening

The first full week of November is World Communication Week and a great time to take stock of your skills. As a Reliv Distributor, you hear a lot about learning to talk to people about Reliv products and the business opportunity of LunaRich. We learn to speak intelligibly about epigenetics and tell the story of how proper nutrition can make an amazing difference in people’s lives. Reliv offers excellent resources for sharing the Reliv story, but it is equally important to brush up on your listening skills.

Let’s take a moment to review the basics of active listening. Becoming a better listener means that you’ll better understand the needs of others and be able to direct them to the appropriate products or opportunity information.

In daily conversation, it’s not hard to tell that many people aren’t listening to what is being said. Research has shown that we only remember between 25 and 50% of what we hear. In the time that we should be listening, we are so busy formulating what we want to say next that we often miss the underlying messages. Worst of all, the person we should be listening to can often tell that we’re not really paying attention to them, and it can cause communication breakdowns. But there is hope! To enhance your listening skills, you need to practice active listening.

  1. Pay attention: Show the speaker that you’re attentive by looking at them directly. Ignore your phone, distracting thoughts and other things vying for your attention. Don’t mentally prepare a rebuttal while listening; instead, pay attention his or her body language and unspoken communication.
  2. Show that you’re listening: Nod when appropriate, smile and be expressive, assess your posture for openness (no crossed arms or turning away from the speaker) and encourage the speaker with small verbal comments without interrupting.
  3. Provide feedback: Reflect back when there is a natural pause by restating what you’ve heard. “It sounds like you are saying …” is a great phrase to use to show that you’ve been paying attention and ensure you understand what has been said. Ask questions for clarification and summarize occasionally to make sure you’re on the same page.
  4. Wait your turn: Allow the person speaking to complete their thoughts before you interject with questions. Avoid interrupting, as it will make the other person feel as if you are just waiting for your turn to talk and not really listening.
  5. Mind your manners: In conversation, the golden rule applies. Treat the person speaking how you’d like to be treated, and be respectful of the opinions of others. If you hear of an amazing story, be sure to check with the person before sharing it with others.

The very idea of someone sharing their health issues or financial worries and dreams with you shows that they trust you. Build that trust by honoring them when they speak. Remind yourself that your goal is to listen; everyone wants to be heard and it’s your job to learn about the needs of others so you can best present the Reliv opportunity to them.

Different people will find certain parts of the Reliv opportunity very appealing. True, we all want optimal health and finances, but by actively listening you will be better able to ascertain someone’s goals and tailor your message to them.