There are plenty of tips and tricks when it comes to communication nowadays, but one that stands out, is the Always Listen First (ALF) method.
In all aspects of life, especially business, it’s always a good idea to adhere to the ALF method. By listening first, you have an opportunity to really understand what another person is trying to say before making assumptions or allowing the conversation to take a different direction.
When it comes to your career for example, by listening first, you set yourself apart from others in the organization that may over-talk each other, or take longer to reach a desired outcome. The idea is to first have a clear understanding before taking action, instead of acting without a clear understanding.
Tips for Success
1. Actively listen, then ask questions
During conversations, make a point to actively listen to the other person first. Resist the temptation to interrupt them while they’re speaking, even if you feel it’s taking them awhile to get to their core message. We all want to be heard, so spend the extra time to hear what they have to say. Once it’s your turn to speak, ask questions to learn more about what was said.
2. Confirm your understanding
Following the Q&A process in step one, recap the conversation by confirming your understanding of what was said and being asked. By recapping in your own words, the other person has another opportunity to validate their own message to you, before you get started on anything following the conversation.
3. Request feedback
Assuming the initial conversation involved some action on your part, it’s a good idea to return to the person and request feedback, as appropriate Requesting feedback from the person allows you to get a sense if you’re heading in the right direction, or if you need to make adjustments. It may also show the other person how much you value their opinion, and your interest to get things done right.
Self Discovery Questions
- How often do I listen first, before speaking?
- Would I be more effective at work by making adjustments to my approach?
- Should I request feedback on something right now?
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