The Negotiator Magazine

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Instead, try to provide a private, quiet, comfortable setting where you sit side by side with others without distractions. If that's not possible, perhaps suggest a later meeting in a more neutral, quieter environment.

3. Be alert to your body language. What you do with your eyes, face, hands, arms, legs, and posture sends out signals as to whether you are, or aren't, listening to and understanding what the other person is saying.

When you acknowledge the other person both verbally and non-verbally, you build trust and increase rapport. And you'll probably learn something, too!

4. Abstain from judging. As someone once advised, "Grow antennae, not horns." If you prejudge someone as shallow or crazy or ill-informed, you automatically cease paying attention to what they say. So a basic rule of listening is to judge only after you've heard and evaluated what they say.

Don't jump to conclusions based on how they look, or what you've heard about them, or whether they're nervous.

5. Create and use an active-listening attitude. Learning to be an active listener is like learning to be an active jogger. It takes effort. You start little by little and work upward. It's as much a state of mind as a physical activity. Besides, as you work longer and get better, it pays ever-increasing benefits.

Dr. Tony Alessandra, CSP, CPAE has authored 13 books, recorded over 50 audio and video programs, and delivered over 2,000 keynote speeches since 1976. Dr. Tony Alessandra is recognized by Meetings and Conventions Magazine as... "one of America's most electrifying speakers." For information about Tony’s keynote presentations, contact the Frog Pond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email susie@frogpond.com.

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