Listen & Learn

When God was forming the world and creating human kind, He gave humans two ears and one mouth. Why? He could have easily given us two mouths and only one ear. Even though we look more uniform or balanced with only one mouth and an ear on each side of our face, God was really hinting at something important. He carefully dressed our faces with only one mouth because He wanted us to do twice as much listening as talking.

Seriously, how many towers have even attended a course on listening skills? If you can’t remember, then you probably haven’t attended one. “Listening, 101” wasn’t offered as part of my formal education. Sadly, the skills we need the most are never taught in school.True in the medical field! A doctor must endure and survive loads and years of training to establish him before he can even meet with his patients. Many times, doctors aren’t taught how to deal with people. I’m sure you’ve seen one of them in action. I certainly have. Our families, friends, business associates and customers don’t listen well either. Some people feel drivers don’t listen to dispatch and dispatch doesn’t listen to customers.

How often do you hear, “you weren’t listening to a word I said?”Do you half-listen? Half-listening happens when someone is doing something while someone else is talking. Don’t know about you, but it’s irritating to me. Maybe a person’s mind is somewhere else. It’s my observation that lots of people don’t really listen. They’re busy and really waiting for their next turn to talk.

Some important tips on listening are:

  1. Don’t interrupt (but….but…but)
  2. Ask questions. Then be quiet. Do your best to really listen.
  3. Listen without pre-judging. Don’t jump to the answer before you hear the entire situation.
  4. Listen to what is not said. Implied is often more important than spoken.
  5. Ask questions to be sure you understood what was said or meant.
  6. Use “listening noises” (um, gee, I see, Oh NO!, I understand) to show the other person you’re listening.
  7. Ask questions, making sure the person has said what he or she really wanted to say.

In today’s fast and busy world, lots of us have so many things on our minds that we’re pre-occupied during a conversation. Multi-tasking is good but not good when you’re supposed to be listening. Some people are just rude; we don’t want to hear something from them because they have a tendency to get on our nerves. During our work days, some of them just had an accident and had to rearrange their whole day. There are many secrets of becoming a good listener.

However, the listening secret that simplifies them all is summed up in three little words. JUST SHUT UP! If your mom is like my mom was, you know shut up isn’t something you say to someone. However, in towing, “shut up”is an action. All of us have known to “shut up” after asking a closing question. You are supposed to” shut-up” because the next person to speak looses.
The next time you have to ask someone to repeat what they said, think about it first. Really think. Were you really listening? Remember, people like to hang out with friends that really listen. I truly believe that the best towing person is always the best listener. He or she certainly should be! If you’re not already applying some of these listening secrets, start now. It’s not too late. You’ll learn to be a better listener. Hope to see you at some of the tow shows this year.

Until next time.