A common binding factor for singers and speakers is the need to effectively communicate. Even though you’ve chosen a voice-driven career, it’s important to understand that one of the most critical communication skills needed to help you achieve success is: listening.
Listening is vital to understanding those that have an impact on your career, from artist development and image consultants to coaches and colleagues right down to your audience. Listening is key to problem-solving, clarifying, and receiving effective, focused, relevant feedback.
Fuel for Follow Up
The better your listen skills, the greater your ability to not only receive valuable information but also process the information you receive by asking follow up questions or by seeking out additional resources for further study.
By honing your listening skills you’ll be better equipped to ask targeted follow up questions to probe for more information and to prompt further discussion. When you clearly indicate that you have the attention of the person offering advice, feedback, direction, or encouragement, you also validate and affirm that individual.
Closer to Goals
This ability to affirm will go a long way toward winning the confidence and support of those you respect that can help you shape your career path, identify areas that need attention, and put together plans for self-improvement and advancing your career. In your meetings with mentors, mastermind or brainstorming groups, management, family members, fans, and supporters, the ability to listen, ask targeted questions, process information, and take what’s needed to heart will go a long way toward moving you closer to your goals.
Open to What’s True
One of the most important things to remember is to listen for the facts or truth in what is being said. Don’t just hear what you want to hear. Be sure to have an open mind as you listen carefully, keeping emotions in check as best as you can. One of the challenges with emotions is that they often act as filters that can color, distort, or even edit out facts and opinions that you need to hear and be able to process.
Seek to Understand
If there’s something you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to voice your concern. Remember that it’s ok to not know everything. Ask for resources where you can get more information. This also affirms the person that provides the resource. Be as specific as possible when asking questions so that your concerns can be properly and fully addressed. If there’s a statement made that you’re not clear about, repeat the statement to confirm your understanding of what was said.
Unwind Then Review
Let’s say you’re tired or feel a bit too emotional, especially after an exhilarating performance or a full-day of keynote presentations. However, you want to capture critical information and feedback, but you know your attention span is compromised. Keep a voice recorder handy; and use it at your discretion. You can review the content later when you’re refreshed. Then, as you listen, take notes for follow up if you have key questions.
Give Thanks, Stay Close
Always thank people for their feedback, concerns, information, and advice. Keep contact information up to date on those whose input you value so that you can contact them for advice and insight.
The Vocal Connection
Listening is vital to developing the full potential of your voice. Think of the role it plays when you work through an exercise in Singing Success
or Mastering Mix
. Think of the role that listening plays in the sessions you book with Brett’s master associates via Skype, over the phone, or in the studio
. Without it, your voice would clearly suffer.
When you watch the video clips on SingingSuccess.TV
, listen to the information that’s being delivered and respond by posting questions or by initiating a thread in a related forum.
Clarify Needs + Concerns
Think of questions you ask as soliciting critical information and direction. This will help you focus on needs and concerns as you listen to the response. Listen to the questions that others ask you and respond accordingly. Again, if you’re not sure what someone is saying, ask them to clarify, and be as specific as possible in directing them to the area where you’re not quite clear.
Hearing is a sense, but effective listening is an art. It takes time and attention to refine it. It’s a communication tool that heightens awareness, sharpens focus, fine-tunes vision, defines purpose, and builds bonds of understanding. So, always listen carefully and closely as you pursue your voice-driven career. The sweetest music to your ears will be the cheers and applause you receive that validates and affirms the gift of your unique voice.