Great listening skills are essential in an industry such as recruitment. Our jobs are about listening and filtering information and then acting on that information.
Processing what the other person says involves skills that steer the flow of the conversation, which establishes how two people interact. Knowing how to listen well help you gain the trust of the other person, whether they are a candidate or a client.
In the process, this helps you in negotiation, persuasion and closing new businesses. As a recruitment consultant, how do you develop this skill?
Use verbal and non-verbal ways to convey your full attention. A nod, a gesture, a smile or speaking out in agreement, such as saying "yes" or "aha", are just some communication skills you can use to let the other person know you're giving them your full attention when they are talking.
This is your way of telling that you understand what the other person is trying to say and that you're processing the information being relayed to you. This is also how you give feedback.
Being attentive shows in the way you conduct yourself when you're in front of the other person so be aware of your posture and make sure that you're not sending out the wrong vibes. When that person is aware that you are giving your full attention, it makes them feel valued, thus instantly creating a sense of trust and respect. Important in our business of persuading people to trust us.
Recognize the feelings that the other person conveys but do not interrupt them as they talk. It is important to focus on the person to fully understand what they are saying.
As a recruitment consultant, it is tempting to interrupt your clients because you are eager to close a deal. Resist that temptation and make sure you understand what your clients’ needs are.
Good listening skills require that you listen without bias. Do not also assume anything nor conclude something without validating it.
If you become biased, you risk making decisions based on that bias rather than the truth.
Practice empathy but set aside any judgment to accomplish what you set out to do.
Ask good questions.
Asking questions, like listening, is an art. If you ask the right questions, you are almost always sure to get good answers, too.
As you listen to what the other person is saying, it is good to confirm what you have heard and make clarifications once in a while by asking questions. Clarify, confirm and paraphrase with questions to avoid a communication breakdown or keep the conversation right on track.
The most useful and powerful questions to ask are open questions that draw longer answers. As much as possible, do not ask questions that are answerable by yes or no. Start your questions with what, why or how. You can also paraphrase your questions in a way that would encourage the other person to share his opinions.
Listening is a practiced skill – so start practicing today!
Until next time, be the best you can be. Gaynor