OREA Real Estate College

The Sound of Silence

 The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them. ~ Dr. Ralph Nichols

Front view portrait of four business executives sitting in a line --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

In “The Sound of Silence,” singer-songwriter Paul Simon laments the lack of true and honest communication among people. Especially effective and appropriate to this topic is the line, “people hearing without listening.”

Hearing and listening are not the same thing. In real estate, differentiating between the two can be difference between career success and career failure.

Hearing is the way we perceive sound. Listening, particularly active listening, is something you choose to do. It requires a conscious effort to not only hear the words, but to listen for the complete message the speaker is sending. It is not automatic. It requires discipline and it takes practice.

Following are a few tips on how to improve your listening skills.

Tip 1: Listen to what is being said

Take the words at face value. Don’t read between the lines, yet.

Tip 2: Listen for the meaning

Now read between the lines. Listen beyond the words themselves to the emotional meaning of what is being said. Are they consistent? If not, ask for clarification after the sender has finished speaking.

Tip 3: Be aware of nonverbal communication

Observe the speaker’s body language, eye movements, and hand gestures. Are they consistent with what is being said, and the messages as you understand them? If not, ask for clarification.

Tip 4: Beware of the message you’re sending

Consider your own body language, eye movements, and hand gestures. Are you sending a message to the speaker that may influence the message they are sending you?

Tip 5: Do not interrupt the speaker

Let the speaker finish his/her thought before you start speaking. Interrupting is disrespectful and may cause the speaker not to listen to you when you speak.


Do you have any additional tips on how to improve listening skills? Let us know.

More information:

Mentoring Kit for New Salespeople: Training for Success – http://bit.ly/1CvaJrh


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