Believe it or not, one of the most imperative communication skills is silence! You may be the best writer around, but if you don’t listen carefully when fans speak, you’re losing out in an immense way. Good communication requires not only speaking your piece, but the exchange of ideas is an essential part. Authors need to keep the lines of communication open with the people who buy their books and attend their events. Your fans are the reason why you are successful.
Dave Kerpen, in his popular book, ‘How Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook‘, emphasized the importance of improving listening skills in making friends. Most people love to talk about themselves. It’s only natural – we all have a lot to say about ourselves and our interests, right? Asking questions of another person is a good way to break the ice and get that person talking. Conversely, it’s an excellent way for you to learn something new and interesting, who knows maybe for a new book.
Talking with kids is another excellent way to improve listening skills. Kids absolutely love to talk and explain things to grown-ups. They may use many words when talking about simple ideas, while using few to make a really profound statement. You’ll find you must listen carefully, as the discussion may go all over the map before getting to the point. Again, ask questions and learn!
Ways you can communicate better with your readers on the web
- Listen on social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, and etc.)
- Respond back to your readers if they make a comment on your page or Twitter page
- Ask questions about what they liked about your book (create a survey)
In short, the best way to improve listening skills is to really engage yourself in conversation. Focus your thinking on learning what others think. You’ll not only make some new acquaintances, you’ll be truly amazed at what you learn!
If you have a social network profile (which I hope you do), ask your friends a question related to the book. Let me know what response you get.