Extract Accurate Information: Turn on Spotlight and LISTEN

Extract Accurate Information: Turn on Spotlight and LISTEN

Colle Davis, a Senior Level Executive Coach

The din of life dulls the mind’s ability to separate the noise from the signal, the real message. When you’re talking, you stop listening. When listening, you gather information to serve the person talking.

Extracting the maximum amount of usable information in the shortest time is so simple it is easy to discount the effectiveness of the process. When listening to a spouse, child, family member, stranger, coworker, or your boss, you are gathering information. The process works because shifting the focus to the other person gives them the space to talk, giving you information, sometimes even things they would be better off not to tell you.

Here is the formula for effective listening: Make three to five statements (facts or not) to the person or group and then ask a question. Listen to the answer(s). Repeat. You are not waiting for your turn to talk; you are waiting for the conversation to return to you as a trusted source of information.

Follow the formula to test for validity in your next three or four conversations. This exercise may seem unfamiliar and awkward, but try it to see how effective it is.

Here’s the trick. After the statements, ask this type of question: ‘Does this apply to you?’ Or, ‘Does this make sense?’ Or ‘Where can you implement this process?’ Or ‘How will this impact your group?’ Open-ended questions where the other party can respond with a creative answer.

Engaging the other party by asking questions allows them to express their creativity and explain how they can contribute. Your graciousness in using this technique endears you to the other party and builds deep trust. They have no idea they are being manipulated to reveal valuable information. When they are the center of attention, few can stop themselves from talking and pontificating about how smart they are and how much they know about everything. Sound familiar? Be careful when giving in to the need to speak.

  • To increase your awareness of using this technique, imagine a spotlight on the speaker. You start with the spotlight on you, the main character in your life, and when you stop talking (at the end of your question, a strange phenomenon will occur: silence). Few people can let a silence hang for more than a few seconds. Someone has to talk, and the spotlight will be on them.
  • They will oblige you by starting to talk. Bam, spotlight on them! Now they get their fifteen seconds of fame and gush out information for you to file and use later.
  • Coaching Note: To encourage them to continue talking, nod occasionally, blink slower, and lean toward them. Don’t laugh; these additional enhancements will pay huge dividend.
  • There is an interesting and long lasting side effect from using this technique. You will look brighter, more poised, and more caring the longer you use it. Be prepared for people to come to you with information, gossip, rumors, and to chat because you are now a good listener and someone they trust. The key is to keep the spotlight on them and the information flowing to you.
  • Gossip, rumors, and chat will eat up your time. Keep the inflow of information clean by insisting that only clean, clear, vetted information is shared with you. The rest of the noise has no value, and you are notthere to listen to it.

Coach Colle Davis

Contact me if you or someone you know needs help. I am a Senior Level Master Coach and Certified Hypnotist with nearly 40 years of experience helping corporate clients. Reserve your free thirty-minute Zoom call with me; your life will never be the same. 804-467-1536 EDT cdavis@mycoach.com

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