Listen! ...or you'll be "LOST" in more ways than one.

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Realty-Schweitzer Mountain, Sandpoint, Idaho SP37235

It occurred to me the other night, that my listening skills/attention span can be pretty short, if not non-existent.  My wife, who is somewhat of a "Lost" junkie, was busy with some important projects around the house while "Lost" was airing.  Being the dutiful husband that I am, I took it upon myself to watch the program in hopes of filling in any gaps that she was bound to miss.  (I'm always looking for brownie points!)


SAWYERMinutes after the program ended, she came running down from the upper level desperately seeking closure on the parts she missed.  It went something like this...

"Kent!  What happened to Sawyer?"  

"Who's Sawyer?"  

"What do you mean who's Sawyer?!  WHAT HAPPENED ON THE BOAT!!"  

"What boat?"  

"THE SUBMARINE!  WHAT HAPPENED ON THE SUBMARINE!!!?"  (Capital letters represent "passionate inquiry)  

"What submarine?"  

" missed the whole thing, didn't you."


As it turned out...yep, I did miss it.  It was on, but I guess I wasn't...and that was not my intention.  We can, inadvertently, turn our brains off and now I am really fearful that this could be happening to me on a regular basis.  Being aware of this is half the battle (or more) and I am "all over" this!  I am most concerned about not being attentive to my wife, but, let's face it...We better be attentive to our clients, as well.  It's our duty!


My AR friend, Tracey Calabasas, posted a blog about listening skills some time ago and I figured this would a great time to reread and reblog it.

14 Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills - HUH?

Tracey Thomas Calabasas, CA Real Estate

 More than anything else, people want to be heard and understood.  

Every relationship that we have, is one that we have with ourselves first.

So how do we become an effective listener when these two statements are conflicting?  We see the world through our own eyes and with our own experiences first and our job is to try to understand what the other person is trying to say when they are speaking from their point of view and experiences.

There is only one way and it's to really listen. 


The reason that I am writing about listening is that sales people tend to be very verbal and great talkers, but sometimes I'm not so sure that they actually listen.  As real estate agents we're trained to make a listing presentation, and trained to explain how great a house is or how experienced we are, but I haven't seen much training on how to listen.


Here are some tips to improve your listening skills.

  1. Practice in the morning when its still quiet outside.  Stand on you back porch and listen.  Now focus, what can you hear that you didn't hear at first?
  2. When you are talking to someone, mimic their body language and posture. 
  3. Use appropriate eye contact.  Don't stare at the wall or behind someone, but also don't make them feel uncomfortable by staring in to their eyes if that forces them to look away.
  4. Smile or nod your head in understanding.  Be involved in their speaking.  Listen with your face.
  5. When the other person stops talking, reiterate their words to clarify the meaning.
  6. Ask questions, don't assume anything.
  7. If you didn't hear something, don't fill in the blanks with your own words.  Ask!
  8. Don't think ahead.  Don't assume you know what the other person is going to say, wait for them to tell their story.  Do not finish the sentence for the other person.
  9. Don't be impatient, take a deep breath and remember standing on your porch this morning.  Remember how much more you heard when you really listened?
  10. Use appropriate distance when positioning yourself to other person.  There is nothing worse than a "close talker" if it makes the other person uncomfortable.
  11. Don't jump in and talk when the other person takes a breath.  Wait.  Silence is honestly golden in communication.  Body language, facial movements and body gestures speak too.
  12. Don't let your emotions jade the conversation, it's not always about you.  People have their own drama and most of the time it doesn't involve you.
  13. Treat listening as a challenging mental task.  You need to concentrate on what is being said instead of making a grocery list in your head.  Listen in the moment, don't think about "before" or "later".
  14. Practice listening.



So tonight when you have dinner with your family you can practice and I bet you'll blow them away.  Turn off all the noise in your head, stop the "to do" list and forget about that crazy client today.  Focus on the people sitting around the table with you.  Look at them when they talk.  Repeat their sentences back to them in your own words.  Ask questions.  I bet you'll get some strange looks, especially if you have teenagers.

We were given two ears but only one mouth.

This is because God knew that listening was twice as hard as talking.




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Todd & Devona Garrigus
Garrigus Real Estate - Beaumont, CA
Broker / REALTORS®

Thanks for the tips! I find myself "zoning" every now and again!

Mar 18, 2010 05:22 PM #1
Frank Castaldini
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco

Turning of one's PDA is another good tip for become a better listener.  I'm mentoring a young guy and I have to ask him to turn it off since he's constantly staring at it.  Kids!

Mar 18, 2010 05:26 PM #2
Lisa Walston
Atlas Property Group and Abbey Church Properties - Greenwood, IN

Great, great post! "Be still and listen".

Mar 18, 2010 05:32 PM #3
Kent Anderson
Coldwell Banker Realty-Schweitzer Mountain, Sandpoint, Idaho - Sandpoint, ID
from Schweitzer to the Lake

Todd & Devona - We all zone.  In fact, that's a good thing.  We just need to choose our zoning times wisely.

Mar 18, 2010 05:45 PM #4
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Englewood, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

I had to come and comment as I am a huge Lost fan and especially with that one you can't miss a second or you really are lost :)

Mar 18, 2010 05:46 PM #5
Kent Anderson
Coldwell Banker Realty-Schweitzer Mountain, Sandpoint, Idaho - Sandpoint, ID
from Schweitzer to the Lake

Hey Frank - You struck upon another of my personal flaws.  My stupid iPhone controls me.

Hi Lisa - Thanks!  It's kind of a "light" post but still pertinent.


Mar 18, 2010 05:56 PM #6
Kent Anderson
Coldwell Banker Realty-Schweitzer Mountain, Sandpoint, Idaho - Sandpoint, ID
from Schweitzer to the Lake

Hi Rita - I always like hearing from my fellow Colorado buddies.  I was a little "lost" when I left Aspen but I am happy I landed in Sandpoint!  

Mar 18, 2010 05:58 PM #7
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Awesome post, thanks for sharing.

Mar 19, 2010 03:46 AM #8
Kent Anderson
Coldwell Banker Realty-Schweitzer Mountain, Sandpoint, Idaho - Sandpoint, ID
from Schweitzer to the Lake

Thanks for checking in, Roger.

Mar 19, 2010 07:44 AM #9
Aaron Poling
Long & Foster - Martinsburg, WV
Working to get YOU the BEST Deal!

You got my attention with all the talk about LOST, it is the greatest show ever made. Just to fill you in. Sawyer cut a deal with Widmore to deliver Locke, the made the deal and Sawyer was released back to the other island. When Sawyer returned to the other island, he told Locke everything and made a deal with him to help him against Widmore. At the end he told kate he was going to plot them against each other and they were going to steal the submarine. Pretty cool huh?

Mar 19, 2010 07:59 AM #10
Kent Anderson
Coldwell Banker Realty-Schweitzer Mountain, Sandpoint, Idaho - Sandpoint, ID
from Schweitzer to the Lake

Hey Aaron - "Who's Widmore?"  I DO know who Kate is...who doesn't?

Mar 19, 2010 08:01 AM #11
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Kent, listening is so difficult. I have a few things that ran around in my head on this post.

First, KUDO'S to you for KNOWING that you needed to watch Lost for your wife. Don't think me crazy, I did read your post after all. Not paying attention to what was going on, now that is something we all need to practice.

My husband is a terrible listener. Not only does he not listen, he can't read body language, or doesn't notice it.

Even when I zone out a bit, I read body language pretty well so I can see when someone knows I am not listening, LOL.

Great reblog, thank you, I will go over these pointers for sure. We can all learn to listen better.

Mar 20, 2010 11:40 PM #12
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