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For the past two weeks, we have been talking how to make the most of what we hear, as well how to go from just hearing, to actually listening impactfully. We think that it is very easy to hear something and not react, but to listen to someone, empathise, analyse and react takes much more of an effort. Last week, we spoke about how the process of listening involves seven steps. This week, lets deep-dive into a LearnEd class to learn how to follow a path of effective communication.

There are four stages that you go through, when following this path:

1.Listen  2. Understand  3. Interpret  4. Act

Listening involves, as mentioned, a 7-step process. These steps imply that you hear raw data, then you select if you want to react to it, to which part of it. After this selection, you focus on that particular stimulus. Once you do so, your brain assigns meaning to what you are listening to, analysing it.This step leads to judging what the situation in front of you is. You also stop here to see if there is any memory association so far, if the matter at hand is connected to something that you already know or not. After all these considerations, you decide to respond to it.

Understanding takes a major section of the work when trying to communicate effectively. Understanding what is being said to you means taking in all the information fully, assigning meaning and context to all the elements of the conversation, both verbal and non-verbal. You process everything that you listen to, and this helps you decide how to respond to the stimulus.

Following understanding, interpretation is the trickiest bit of the path. When we interpret an idea based on what we have listened to and understood, we start predicting the outcome, as well as our response. You begin by building credibility by citing your past experiences, also form an emotional connection by connecting over the particular matter at hand. And depending on the situation, you may even appeal directly to their sense of logic and reasoning. LearnEd’s clients know this as using their Ethos, Pathos and Logos skills – as Aristotle first taught us. Selecting which communication strategy to use in what situation may often be a make or break decision for the conversation!

Finally, after following this path, you act on the decision you have taken, by taking the conversation forward, using a particular strategy to deepen your connection.

We often judge the situation before even interpreting it. Following this particular path of communication will, firstly, make you proactive instead of reactive. Secondly, it will give you a much sharper chance at getting the conversation to a desired outcome, getting your point across more effectively. Contact LearnEd today to understand how to apply this path in your conversations, and make your business and social life so much easier!

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