This fundamental was written by Jennifer Lujan. Jennifer has worked with Eastern Funding for over 8 years. Jennifer currently serves as one of Eastern Funding’s loan officers and helps small business owners secure financing for their projects.
Listen generously. Listening is more than simply “not speaking.” Give others your undivided attention. Set aside your own judgments and preconceived notions. Listen with care and with empathy. Most importantly, listen to understand.
I am actually very glad I got this Fundamental. In my time at Eastern Funding, I have learned a lot about generously listening. David J. Friedman, in Fundamentally Different, describes generous listening as listening for the contribution in another’s speaking. It’s listening fully, looking for the most positive way to hear the other person.
I have noticed that when I am listening to others speak, I tend to believe I know what’s coming next, and so I jump to conclusions right away. I have also been made aware that I cut people off when they are speaking because of this – very rude, I know. I actually have to pay attention to the speaker, including my husband and kids, and listen without distraction. I have to stop assuming I know what they are going to say, and listen to the outcome, which all too often is not what I had been assuming. This, of course, also applies to others I speak to on a daily basis, such as customers, dealers and coworkers.
Tips for listening generously per Fundamentally Different:
Eliminate Distractions – Pay attention to the speaker. Look them in the eye and listen without multitasking or being curious of your surroundings. Give the listener you undivided attention.
Replicate – Let the speaker know you are paying attention by repeating what they said so that you understand and they know you are listening and fully understand.
Quiet the voices in your head – Try to clear all the distractions and extra conversations in your head. This way you can devote your attention to the speaker.
Stay tuned next week for Fundamental #7: Speak Straight