January 22nd, 2013 by Betty
Posted in Small Business

Do you like sales?  Most people say “no”  yet, we all sell everyday.  We attempt to move people to our viewpoint, convince our boss, get our kids to do their homework, encourage healthy behavior, pitch our idea, etc.  I am currently listening to Dan Pink’s book, To Sell is Human.  His chapter on attunement (the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes) struck home with me.  My management team and I have worked on improving our emotional intelligence over the years.  Several of us had low empathy scores on our EQ testing.  Empathy, similar to attunement, is the ability to read the emotions of others.  Having these skills is important in building a connection with others and increasing trust.  It is key to building good relationships.

What can you do to improve your attunement?  Daniel Pink suggests:

  1. Increase your humility.
  2. Improve your Emotional Intelligence.
  3. Be a Chameleon (mimic and find commonalities with others).

What are some behaviors you can work on to improve your empathy?

  1. Start a conversation.  A good starter question is, “where are you from?”
  2. Find something in common with the other person.
  3. Improve your understanding of group dynamics.
  4. Improve your listening skills.
  5. Improve your self awareness.
  6. Don’t judge.

I think one of the most important behaviors is to improve your listening skills.  Listening is not a passive behavior.  It takes effort.  You have to clear your mind of what you want to say and truly take in what you are hearing.  Here are some things you can do to listen better:

  1. Repeat back snippets of the speaker.
  2. Ask clarifying questions and stay curious.
  3. Talk less.
  4. Don’t interrupt.
  5. Don’t offer advice – remember people only want advice that they ask for or pay for.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” To Kill a Mockingbird, spoken by Atticus Finch.

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