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Volume I, Number 11 - August 2008  ●  Contact Us  •  Past Issue Archive   ●  

An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association
Edited by Linda B. Bulmash

This Month's Topic:  Winning Negotiators Practice Active, Hard Listening
Okay, so you have heard it before…be a good listener. However, studies have shown that within less than a minute after a person stops talking, the speaker and the listeners forget about half of what was said even if they thought they were carefully listening. Repeat that: the speaker and the listener forget what has been said.

Your job is to focus the speaker and the listener on the important issues. Confusion is the death of all agreements.  Here are some simple techniques that will get both you and the speaker to remember the important points of what has been discussed.

1. Ask the other person to summarize the main points and reasons they have given.
2. Summarize their statements and ask whether your summary is right.
3. Ask them to summarize their understanding of what you have been saying.
4. Get in the habit of repeating what has been said so both you and the  
    speaker reinforce and remember the salient points.
5. Don’t interrupt.
6. Practice listening to ideas that you don’t like and then summarize them.
7. Let the other person have the last word.
Linda B. Bulmash, Esq.
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