The following article was published Cascade Business News, November 20, 2002.

Listen and Be Heard!

By Ann Golden Eglé, PCC , CPCC Of Golden Visions Success Coaching

The holidays are perhaps the best time of the year to meet and greet and get the word out about your product or service. The challenge for many of us is that even though we are passionate about our offerings, we often feel inept or invisible when trying to promote them to others. The words are coming out, but no one is listening.

How does it feel to not be heard? Pretty rotten! Your ability to listen and be heard is directly related to the level of success that you will attain in life.

Think of common traits of the most successful people you know? They seem ‘together’, ‘genuinely happy’. They are winners!

More likely than not, they have developed a foolproof way of connecting with people. They command attention—sometimes softly, sometimes not. When they speak, people listen. When they listen, people speak openly. They make it all look so easy.

Developing the art of effective communication is much like building a ‘success’ muscle. If you do not flex this muscle and work it regularly, you will loose it, period.

Here are some easy strategies to heighten your level of success in both listening and being heard:


  • Remove visual or verbal distractions. If you truly do want to listen to a person focus solely upon them, not on other individuals or nearby conversations.
  • Focus on the whole person. What is their tone? What are their eyes and posture telling you? What do they really want you to know?
  • Don’t interrupt. It is tempting to step in and talk about a similar experience that you may have had, but this will inhibit their train of thought. Stop yourself!
  • Ask questions. When a person feels that they are really being listened to and heard, they will open up even more. They will place a higher value on this interaction and on you. You both come out winners!

Being Heard:

  • Maintain absolute eye contact. If your eyes are looking up or down or all around, the importance of your message is diluted.
  • Don’t assume that they are getting your message! If you sense that you’ve lost them, simply ask, ‘What is your opinion?’ ‘What questions do you have?’
  • Exercise periods of silence. If you find yourself in a setting where you are clearly not being heard, be quiet until your audience is ready to listen to you. The silence is more uncomfortable for your listener than it is for you.
  • Know that what you have to say is important. If it isn’t, why are you here?
  • Use humor. This never fails to draw attention. People love to laugh!

As with building all muscles, it takes time to perfect these ‘success’ skills. In due time, you’ll be a master at listening and also at being heard. You are now on your way. Enjoy your ride!

Ann Golden Eglé, CPCC, PCC, owner of Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC, can be reached at 541-385-8887 or Eglé coaches executives, professionals and entrepreneurs to optimal levels of success, authors a free e-mail success "Thought of the Week", and is available to speak to your team about how to become better networkers.

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