As we know, it’s all about relationships!
In his book, “How to be heard”, Julian Treasure has an acronym to help us listen, called RASA. Since we are always in conversations and constantly developing relationships, as sales people, we must continually develop this skill; I thought I would share this with you.
R is for receive. Scott Peck says, true listening involves your full attention and cannot take place is you are doing something else. Effective listening means being in full receive mode: looking at the speaker (listening with your eyes); using attentive body language (usually, leaning forward rather than back, facing the speaker squarely, and not making any irrelevant or distracted-looking gestures or movements).
A is for appreciate. This means giving little visual and auditory cues that you are fully engaged. These may include small affirmatory facial expressions like eyes widening, eyebrows lifting, smiling, nodding and so on –you know how to do all this naturally, as well as those little noises that oil conversations: ahh, ohh, mmm, or whatever fits your personal style. I tend to forget these on the phone and people say: “are you still there?” I am, and listening intently. Of course, without the visual cues, they have no feedback at all. Positive feedback creates a friendly, receptive listening for the other person to speak into, and conversations thrive on that.
S is for summarize. This usually involves a powerful and important little word: “so”. I sometimes feel like forming a society for the protection of this vital little conjunction. It implies a logical sequence from what has just been said, often involving cause and effect.
When you respond to a few minutes of someone speaking with “So, what you’re saying is…”, you affirm and they can check you’ve received what they are trying to send. This is particularly vital in meetings – those places where you can take minutes and waste hours! Without a “so” person, a meeting can go round and round for a very long time. It’s invaluable to have someone in the group who will say: “so, we can all agree on this, and now let’s move on to that.”
A is for ask. If you ask relevant and appropriate questions throughout, and especially at the end, you again assure the speaker that you there with them on the journey, alive, interested, engaged and, most of all, listening!
Consider practicing RASA with everyone you interact with this week. See how you occur to them, how much more engaged you are, and what happens to those relationships.