When monitoring or engaging in online conversations, particularly in instances where you are using social listening for market research, an effective process for listening involves 5 sequent stages: Receiving, Understanding, Remembering, Evaluating and Responding.
To help provide deeper meaning to each of the stages in the listening process, I have selected insightful quotes from a diverse group of famous people. It is my hope that their words will provide depth and inspire a profound understanding of each stage’s purpose/intention.
Receiving The Message.
We cannot let another person into our hearts or minds unless we empty ourselves. We can truly listen to him or truly hear her only out of emptiness. – M. Scott Peck
Receiving the message properly means that you must pay very close attention to what is being conveyed to you, in some instances this is shared in as little as 140 character Tweet or a six second Vine. Mute your internal commentary and focus on the other person’s perspective. Eliminate distractions from your work-space, and do not interrupt the flow of the conversation.
Understanding The Message.
Our understanding is correlative to our perception. – Robert Delaunay
Understanding the message is accomplished by processing the information you have received and extrapolating the fundamental meaning. Seek a deeper understanding of what the speaker is trying to communicate, and avoid reacting to individual words, phrases or terms that the other person is using to express themselves.
Remembering The Message.
Every person’s remembering will be different. That engagement is important, I think. – Christian Marclay
Remembering the message will require you to focus your attention on the fundamental points of the communication. Within even the most casual of conversations, you will find central ideas. Remember these important points by organizing these ideas by their most important details. Whenever possible, form relationships between the fundamental points of the other person’s message.
Evaluating The Message.
I like to regard myself as someone who’s capable of critical thought, that is to say, who can evaluate claims. – Bill Nye
Evaluating the message places the onus upon you to determine which communications are untruthful, insignificant, trivial and/or destructive. Make every effort to be a critical thinker and distinguish proven facts from opinions and personal interpretations. This includes identifying biases, self-interests, or prejudices, that could cause the material to be presented unfairly.
Responding to The Message.
One of the greatest indicators of our own spiritual maturity is revealed in how we respond to the weaknesses, the inexperience, and the potentially offensive actions of others. – David A. Bednar
Responding to the message is an opportunity that presents itself only after the communication has been properly received, understood and evaluated. Begin by acknowledge the other person’s experience, clarify fundamental points and offer assurances that you are committed to working together toward a resolve.
Albeit ignoring or not responding to a comment or question undermines effective communication, posts that are driven by excessively negative emotion should be avoided. The only exception to this, is in instances where you are responding to a direct request for advice.
A Final Thought.
Diversity breeds creativity and innovation. Use social listening to identify opportunities to work with others to generate solutions, address challenges and overcome obstacles. When doing so, be positive, be genuine and act with integrity.
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