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5 Good Reads on Listening: A "Secret" Skill for Financial Advisors

By ClientWise | April 6, 2013

“You're short on ears and long on mouth.”…John Wayne

A very Duke-like quote on listening, as spoken by John Wayne as Big Jake. Big Jake wasn’t one of the Duke’s best efforts, although it did give Wayne a chance to act with one of his sons. [The Searchers is often regarded as Wayne’s best film, although he brought home an Oscar with True Grit.]

Listening is a foundational skill for successful financial advisors. One of the interesting things about listening is that it is not a passive activity. Great listening requires intention and focus. For those of you who are interested in upgrading your listening prowess, we share the following five helpful books:

Active Listening 101: How to Turn Down Your Volume to Turn Up Your Communication Skills, by Emilia Hardman, 2012
. The author of this small-ish 56-page book suggests that Diogenes Laertius was right when he realized, “We have two ears and only one tongue, in order that we may hear more and speak less.” She therefore concludes that it’s time to take a closer look at the other side of communication. It’s time to end the shadowy existence of listening. Active listening skills can have a hugely positive effect on your whole life… whether it be strengthening your relationships, gaining valuable information for your business or improving your health and happiness.

Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All, by Bernard T. Ferrari, 2012. Nothing causes bad decisions in organizations as often as poor listening, but author Bernard Ferrari, believes that such missteps can be avoided. The books offers a step-by-step process that will help readers become active listeners, able to shape and focus any conversation. Ferrari’s practical insights include: Good listening is hard work, not a passive activity. Good listening means asking questions, challenging all assumptions, and understanding the context of every interaction. Good listening results in a new clarity of focus, greater efficiency, and an increased likelihood of making better decisions.

Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone, by Mark Goulston and Keith Ferrazzi, 2009. The first make-or-break step in persuading anyone to do any thing is getting them to hear you out. Whether the person is a harried colleague, a stressed-out client, or an insecure spouse, things will go from bad to worse if you can’t break through emotional barricades. Drawing on his experience as a psychiatrist, business consultant, and coach, and backed by the latest scientific research, author Mark Goulston shares simple but powerful techniques readers can use to really get through to people–whether they’re coworkers, friends, strangers, or enemies. Getting through is a fine art but a critical one. With the help of this groundbreaking book readers will be able to turn the “impossible” and “unreachable” people in their lives into allies, devoted customers, loyal colleagues, and lifetime friends.

The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships, by Michael P. Nichols, 2009. One person talks; the other listens. It’s so basic that we take it for granted. Unfortunately, most of us think of ourselves as better listeners than we actually are. Why do we so often fail to connect when speaking with family members, romantic partners, colleagues, or friends? How do emotional reactions get in the way of real communication? This thoughtful, witty, and empathic book has already helped over 100,000 readers break through conflicts and transform their personal and professional relationships. Experienced therapist Mike Nichols provides vivid examples, easy-to-learn techniques, and practical exercises for becoming a better listener–and making yourself heard and understood, even in difficult situations.

Listening: The Forgotten Skill, by Madelyn Burley-Allen, 1995. One of the classic books on listening. A proven program for turning effective listening into a powerful business tool. Managers and other employees spend more than 40 percent of their time listening to other people but often do it so poorly that the result is misunderstood instructions, misdirected projects, and erroneous actions--millions of dollars' worth of mistakes just because most people don't know how to listen. In this newer edition of her classic guide to the art of effective listening, Madelyn Burley-Allen shows you how to acquire active, productive listening skills and put them to work for you--professionally, socially, and personally. 

Put your listening skills to practice, improve client retention, and find loyal client advocates with the ClientWise Conversation. Download the complimentary ClientWise Learning Tool below:



Topics: Leadership Marketing & Communication

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