John Drebinger Safty Speaker

Safety Speakers and Listening Skills

Safety Speakers and Listening Skills
Have you ever made a concentrated effort to listen to someone only to have them say, “You never listen.”? You are both frustrated and confused. What more could you possibly do to pay closer attention? In my book Mastering Safety Communication, (Click Here For Book) I have a chapter on rapport skills. I teach safety speakers or anyone how to connect with others. One aspect of rapport skills is to understand different listening styles and listening rules. I will share with you one of the most powerful rapport rules or skills to help people know you are listening to them.

Look To Talk Rule

The rule or set of rules I am discussing today has to do with where you look when talking to someone and where you look while you are listening. These are called your “look to talk” and “look to listen” rules.

Next time you have a conversation with someone, take note of where they look when they are talking. Do they look you straight in the eye? Do they look to the side or back and forth? Next, take mental note of where they are looking when they are listening to you talk. Now you know their rules.

Take note of where you are most comfortable looking when you talk. Also, note where you look when you listen to someone. You now know your own look to talk and listen rules.

Follow Their Rules

The rapport skills secret to being considered a great listener is to follow the other person’s rules. When you first begin the conversation, discover what their look to listen rule is. Once you know this, you know where to look while you are listening to them. If it’s the same as your look to listen rule it’s easy. If it’s different it might take more effort on your part. You might even feel uncomfortable. It is important to remember the best communicators are the most flexible in their communication style. They are willing to use someone else’s style to make them more comfortable. If you want to be effective you need to be flexible. People who are rigid in their communication style and stick to their own rules will do well with others who are like them and ineffective with other people. Effective safety speakers use these principles.

Where Are They Looking?

Do the same for the look to talk rule. When they first talk to you pay attention to where they are looking. Once again, you look the same way when it is your turn to talk. This solves the biggest listening quality issue, perception. The reality is it doesn’t matter how well you listen it matters what they perceive. That was the point I made at the beginning of this article. What matters is the perception of the person to whom you are listening. If they don’t think you are listening, it impacts the success of your communication results.

Enjoy testing this skill; you will be thrilled with the results. When you want to learn more and have me teach your team please call my Meeting Planner, Diane Weiss at +1.209.745.9419 or email her at and bring in the best of the safety speakers.

Until next week,
I’ll be, “Watching Out For Everyone’s Safety™”

© 2016 John Drebinger Presentations
Permission to use granted when credited and contact information included. +1 209.745.9419

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