Poor Listening Skills is a MAJOR Turn Off

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Flagship

I went to a networking event and was shocked at what I saw!

I wasn't shocked because it happened, I was shocked at the frequency in which it happened.

I am talking about poor listening skills.

It's absolutely appalling to see how many sales professionals have no active listening skills whatsoever.  

What do poor listening skills look like? 

  • A lady was speaking to a gentleman and the gentleman kept interrupting her story to add his own experiences rather than letting her tell her story.  He was stealing her thunder and making himself the center of the conversation.
  • A lady was speaking and the lady she was speaking with was obviously bored because she lost eye contact completely and continued to look around the room rather than focusing on the conversation at hand.  
  • A lady was speaking to a man who again, was obviously bored.  He would occasionally do his obligatory nod, void of all emotion and understanding.  
How do I know about so much about Active Listening?
Because many years ago, my colleague told me that I had a habit of finishing people's sentences. I knew there was no way that could be true so I asked her to let me know when she noticed me doing it.  (We had a secret code that was not obvious to anyone but me... she'd step on my toe when it happened.  Soooo, I would talk to a prospect and feel the toe over and over and over.  I was now aware I had a problem... the first step to recovery!  Ever since I learned I had the problem, I worked on it over and over.  I asked friends, family, colleagues, etc. to let me know when I do it so I could fix it.
What does poor listening communicate to the attentive speaker? 
It tells her that you don't care about what she is saying, that you care more about yourself than you do about her and that if you have poor listening skills, how can you be a good negotiator if you are missing integral parts of conversations?
What do active listening skills look like?
  • Maintain eye contact and avoid distractions.  
  • Nod to indicate understanding
  • Focus on what the speaker is saying and don't worry about what to say until it's your turn to speak. 
  • Use open body language (leaning in while they are speaking) and avoid closed body language (crossing your arms)
  • Clarify when you are unsure of what the speaker means
  • Encourage the person to continue ie.  Tell me more about that.  That's interesting, elaborate.  
  • Ask questions to show genuine interest
There are three different levels of listening.  Check out this article about the three levels of listening and determine which level you currently gravitate toward and challenge yourself to be more.  When you are engaged in conversation, the mantra Be Where You Are applies.  
Live well and LISTEN UP! 
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Also, please visit our website TDGMoves.com as well.  Here you will find helpful information about buying, selling or investing in a home in and around Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, MD.

Live Well,

Diane Donnelly

Comments (4)

Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin


Very good post. I am sure there are times in my life when I am not a good active listener. I think ego gets in my way too often. Thanks for this reminder. I hope I do not have to have someone step on my toes. Have a great week. 

Feb 24, 2013 08:50 AM
Diane Donnelly
Keller Williams Flagship - Annapolis, MD
Anne Arundel County, MD Real Estate

Haa Haa Alan! Remember, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem! Ha! Perhaps steel toed shoes will do the trick while you are working on it!


Feb 24, 2013 09:06 AM
John G. Johnston
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC - Westcliffe, CO
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO

Diane  I really like the 'be where you are' mantra.  Some days I find I am a better listener than others.  It requires major effort on my part.  Enjoy the day

Mar 08, 2013 12:23 AM
Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee
SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061 - Baltimore, MD
Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068

Listening skills are way more important than "sales" techniques.  I really resonate with this post and hope that your toes are in much better shape now, then when this was first written!


Maryland Mortgage Mama

Nov 08, 2013 06:17 AM