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“People do not want to be less informed. They want to be more informed with less information!” To move forward, backward or to a Contents page, move your.

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Presentation on theme: "“People do not want to be less informed. They want to be more informed with less information!” To move forward, backward or to a Contents page, move your."— Presentation transcript:

1 “People do not want to be less informed. They want to be more informed with less information!” To move forward, backward or to a Contents page, move your cursor over the arrows in the bottom left corner of each page and make a selection. You can also use your space bar (forward); or your PageUp/PageDn keys (backward/forward). Tips & Techniques for UNDERSTANDABLE Conversations (Questioning & Listening Techniques)

2 Orientation Listening Techniques Questioning Techniques Table of Contents Click on any colored bullet found on the Content pages to jump to a specific section.

3 Orientation This material was developed to help you plan for successful face-to-face and telephone business conversations. As you work through the slides, you will explore the art of questioning and listening. You will gain tips to help the quality of your problem solving and decision-making skills. Return to main Table of Contents Involve Your Listener

4 Involve Your Listener Use questions Listen actively Respond appropriately 3 Key Skills Orientation

5 Questioning Techniques In this section, you will look at how you can meet your listener’s needs by improving your questioning skills. You will gain tips to help you improve the way you ask and respond to questions. Return to main Table of Contents Asking Effective Questions Responding to Questions

6 Asking Effective Questions Questioning Techniques 6 Kinds of Questions 1.Open-ended 2.Closed-ended 3.What if 4.Clarification 5.Test-for-agreement 6.Opinion-finding Questions need to be pre-planned. You need to think of how you can use them strategically to expand or contract a conversation. You may choose from a variety of different types of questions to achieve your purpose. The secret is to ask questions in a non-threatening way.

7 1. Open-ended questions You use open-ended questions to open up a discussion. These questions cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. 2. Closed-ended questions You use closed-ended questions when you are looking for a specific response. These questions usually elicit a “yes/no” or other one word answer. 3. “What if” questions You use “what if” questions to help your listener visualize a future scenario and to think about the consequences of their actions or decisions. Let’s explore when you may want to use each of the six types of questions. Questioning Techniques

8 4. Clarification questions You use clarification questions in the heat of a debate especially when your listener is expressing a different view, brand new idea or concerns. These questions can help you defuse a misunderstanding and help your listener articulate their ideas more clearly. 5. Test-for-agreement questions You use test-for-agreement questions when you want to take the pulse of a conversation, e.g. to see if the listener will support your idea or decision. 6. Opinion-finding questions You use opinion-finding questions to uncover information about your listener’s feelings, perception and attitude. Questioning Techniques

9 Responding to Questions In addition to asking good questions, you need to provide thoughtful responses to questions from your listener. Let’s explore these strategies for responding to questions. 1.Acknowledge the questioner 2.Paraphrase difficult questions 3.Answer – but not too fast! 4.Defer – only sometimes 5.Be honest Questioning Techniques

10 1. Acknowledge the questioner You can acknowledge the questioner by thanking them by name and acknowledging their question. Answer the question as best you can. 2. Paraphrase difficult questions You may be asked a question that is convoluted, ambiguous or politically loaded. Check your understanding of the question before responding. You can do this best by reflecting or paraphrasing the question. 3. Answer…but not too fast You may be asked an easy, straightforward question. Take time to answer it, but also take time to check with the listener to ensure they are satisfied with your answer. Questioning Techniques

11 4. Defer…only sometimes You may be asked a question that you planned to answer later in your conversation. You can choose to defer the question by telling the listener that you intend to cover it in the next few minutes. Be careful not to defer too many questions. You may shut down your listener. 5. Be honest You may be asked a question that you do not know the answer to. Say so! If appropriate, you can offer to find out the information for your listener. Questioning Techniques

12 Listening Techniques In this section, you will explore the most powerful tool you have as a communicator – listening. You will gain tips that will help you gain knowledge and understanding; two key components of any conversation. Return to main Table of Contents Three Levels of Listening Tips for Level 3 Listening

13 Three Levels of Listening Level 1. I’m not hearing you. What’s missing: genuine interest focus on the other person Level 2. I’m hearing you, but you’re wrong. What’s missing: respect for other person inability to tolerate silence openness to alternative ideas Listening Techniques Associated behaviors: multi-tasking pretending to listen Associated behaviors: preparing own response before other person finishes speaking “topping” other person’s idea putting other person down

14 Level 3. This is what I hear you saying and this is how I sense you’re feeling about the issue. At Levels 1 & 2, the intention is to protect, defend or be right. At Level 3, the intention is to learn, connect, build trust and reach understanding. Listening Techniques Associated behaviors: focused attention interested questioning collaborative dialogue

15 Now that you have explored the Three Levels of Listening, identify where you can improve. a) Check the box beside any item that you do consistently. Exercise Listening Techniques 1. Attention: During conversations with others, do you:  focus 100% of your attention on the speaker?  tune out all distractions?  “stay with” the conversation? 2. Understanding: During conversations with others, do you:  mentally process the information that is being exchanged?  remain open to all ideas?  clearly grasp the overall theme of the message?

16 3. Encouragement: During conversations with others, do you:  help the speaker articulate their message?  encourage healthy dialogue and sharing ideas?  show respect for the speaker regardless of how aligned you are with their point of view? b) Review the items you did not place a checkmark beside. Make them your goals for future conversations. Listening Techniques

17 Tips for Level 3 Listening Listen and stay alert Identify and overcome barriers Read non-verbal cues Listen objectively Assess what you hear Ask questions/paraphrase Listen with body, mind and spirit Acknowledge/encourage the speaker Maintain eye contact Manage your emotions Take notes — but not dictation Listening Techniques

18 By applying the tips and techniques you have learned in this course, you will be well on your way to: Developing higher level questioning and listening skills. Improving the quality of your problem solving and decision-making skills. “People do not want to be less informed. They want to be more informed with less information!”


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