We help you speak English clearly.
1.800.399.9517
Free Speech Lesson

Blog

English Communication Skill: Get More Out of Listening — Ask Questions

English Communication Skill: Get More Out of Listening — Ask questions!

shutterstock_148655024

No one says everything you want to hear in the best order, depth, and detail. What to do?  You must ask questions to get the information you want or need.

In the American culture, etiquette prohibits us from  rapid-fire questions. Do questions are not confrontational, but simple easy-to-understand questions to elicit specific information.

Jargon

Don’t be shy or embarrassed about asking someone to clarify a statement which has an unfamiliar word or acronym.  Many use jargon or language of their profession when they talk.  Ask the meanings of those words.

More difficult is the situation when you are in the same industry and the other person assumes you know the meaning of words that he or she is using.  You may feel embarrassed to ask for the meaning under that circumstance because you think you should know.  There are a few good ways to handle this situation.  My favorite is this , “Just to be sure that we are using our vocabulary in the same way, tell me exactly how you define ABC.”  And when the other person defines a term for you, you can respond:

  • That’s great. We use the phrase the same way.
  • Glad I asked; we use that phrase a little differently, but we can go with your definition.
  • I just learned something new.

Negotiations

Negotiations require special concern. If you think the other person is using a term drastically different than you are accustomed and some real damage may be done if you use the word their way instead of your way in a negotiation, say “We should define that term in the written agreement so others won’t get confused.  You and I know what we are talking about, but we want to be sure that everyone else does, too.”  Don’t get into a battle over definitions.

What about making your English speech pronunciation more accurate? Be Watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

English Communication Skill: Best Listening- Body Language & Power of Notetaking

English Communication Skill: Best Listening- Body Language and Power of Notetaking

shutterstock_109056656

At least fifty percent of a person’s impression is from your body language.

  1. Take an alert body position in any meeting

Enhance your conversation by doing these body positions

  • Uncross your arms and legs.
  • Sit straight in the chair.
  • Face the speaker full on.
  • Lean forward.
  • Make as much eye contact as you can.

Getting drowsy? Don’t give in–sit up straighter, stand up, get a drink  of water.  Get the blood flowing.  Don’t think you can effectively combat drowsiness without changing your physical position.

  1. Write it down

Taking notes is a great listening aid.  Even if never refer to your notes again, writing the most important points boosts the entire listening process.  Besides, absorbing an entire conversation through listening only is almost impossible.

Negotiating? Taking notes is important throughout every step of the negotiating process.  Review your notes right away to be sure that you wrote down everything you may want to remember,  If you can’t read your notes, then redo the notes right away.

For negotiating or any business meeting or important meeting of any kind, consider providing a status report to the other side. That’s an excellent way to assure that you listened well. Writing down what you think you heard and verifying the material with the other side is a positive experience.

That memo acts in another way. if your counterpart believes you recorded the conversation incorrectly, then he or she can provide the conflicting information.  Immediately thank the other person and also point out that you wrote the memo to be sure you listened well and interpreted the discussion accurately.

Here is a tip –if the other person says you got it all wrong and misunderstood him or her, do consider this. You may  have listened carefully, because it is just as likely that the other person is correcting a sloppy communication to you.  People often change or refine their position when they see it in writing.  Do let that modification happen gracefully.

When the other person provides a new version of the negotiations or the communication in any meeting, simply change your notes.   Remember, you write it out to get it right.

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

What You Get From Your Reconnecting Conversation- Networking

What You Get From Your Reconnecting Conversation— Networking

When you reconnect with another person, maybe by phone or in-person, the information you hear may not only be of interest to you or but also something for which you can give support. Maybe you are able to assist the person in some way.

Or the information might be valuable to someone else you know.

Typically, after telling you what’s going on in their lives, they will come back and inquire about yours.  So both sides of the conversation get an update. Also, be sure to let the person know when the conversation needs to close with something like “I’ve got to go in about five minutes to catch another phone call (or meeting). That often prompt the query about you.

The conversation is re-establishing relationship and is a natural source for networking.

English Communication Skill- Do Your Best Listening

English Communication Skill: Do Your Best Listening

Communication is connecting with people, making relationship.  Half of the story is listening.

Do you want to be a better listener so the other other person knows you are truly in the same space with them?

What to do? First, clear away the clutter. Noise clutter, desk clutter, even mind clutter.

  •  When you talk to someone, don’t just mute the device, turn it off.
  • If you have something else on your mind, write it down before you enter a conversation. Thus you won’t worry about forgetting to address the issue – and you’re free to focus on the rest of the conversation.
  • Clear your desk of whatever is between you and the speaker – -so you concentrate on what the speaker is saying.
  • Don’t accept phone calls or texts while you are talking with someone else. Interrupting a conversation to take a call or review a text makes the person in the room with you feel unimportant – and makes what you have to say seem unimportant. If you think the call is an emergency, state it might be an emergency or family member, ask the person on the other line if it is OK if you call back after your meeting. Then get back to the person you are with,

Second tip, count to three.

This slight delay enables you to absorb and understand the last statement before you respond. You absorb the message, and you give the other person one last chance to modify the statement or question.  Even if your response is simply that you must consult with your client, spouse, or boss, pausing for three seconds helps you better understand and remember what the other person said.

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Reach Out and Touch Someone

Reach Out and Touch Someone.

Everyone has a network of relationships– some are close friends, some are friends you don’t share “close to your heart” details, some colleagues or neighbors, associates in other organizations, and family.

Reach out.

Coming out of the worst of Covid (we hope) makes impetus for reconnecting. Purpose? Growth, action, interaction.