Stop, look, & LISTEN…actively!

June 3, 2014

You heard “stop, look and listen” in preschool!  A very important life  skill and turns out to be one of the most important skills in negotiation.

There are a couple of 90/10 rules in negotiation.   One is you should be listening 90% of the time and talking 10%.      Not sure you can always adhere to the rule, but if you attempt to abide by it, you’ll be much better off.

Also, there’s listening and then there’s active listening.      Active listening takes work and practice.    Active listening communicates to your negotiation partner that you are actually listening.   It makes them feel and understand that you are engaged and empathetic to the conversation and their needs.


Here’s a few active listening tips:

  1. Look at the person who is talking.
  2. Lean toward them.  Open body language. No crossed arms.
  3. Nod your head.
  4. Smile. Raise your eyebrows.
  5. Appear deeply interested in what is being said.
  6. Take notes.
  7. Ask them to expand on their thoughts.
  8. Use their words to repeat and emphasize your complete understanding.
  9. Empathize or agree with enthusiastic  hmm’s.
  10. Let them talk until they ask you to talk.

The more you show someone you are listening the smarter they think you are.     Dale Carnegie said “Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours” .    

Invest time in listening and I promise it will pay off!

Last tip….put down the phone and close the computer screen!!!

Andy Cagnetta owns and operates Transworld Business Advisors.  He joined the company as a sales associate and later purchased it. Transworld is an international franchise business and franchise brokerage, with thousands of businesses for sale and franchisees in the United States and Internationally.

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