An Introduction to the L.U.R.E.©Listening Technique
One of the most difficult things to do is to effectively listen to a coworker, customer, subordinate or supervisor prior to formulating an answer. We tend to jump to an answer as soon as we hear something we recognize as believe is leading to the right solution.
And this is not exclusively a business communications issue; if any number of wives were asked, they would likely tell you that their husband tends to begin solving the problem before truly listening and understanding what they need.
While I have promoted and taught this in business situations, the L.U.R.E..Listening technique works equally well in personal relationships, which is why I also cover this in marriage workshops. L.U.R.E. allows you to slow down and totally understand all aspects of the other person’s issue prior to formulating a response.
L.U.R.E. is an acronym for Listen, Understand, Repeat and Educate. Here is a brief description of how L.U.R.E. works.
#1 – LISTEN
The first phase of L.U.R.E. is to activelylisten to what the other person is trying to convey.
It’s important to not interrupt the person speaking at this time; instead, be taking notes (or making mental notes) on not only the basic facts the other person is relaying to you but also the larger issues related to the problem, such as business or environmental factors.
As you are listening to the issue at hand, mentally reformulate the issue into your own words. Once the person pauses, or otherwise indicates that they are ready to hear your response, you begin step two.
#2 – UNDERSTAND
Now it’s time to verify your understanding of the issue up to this point. Paraphrase back to the individual what they have just heard.
This step of paraphrasing is necessary to verify your full understanding of the issue. “Parroting” or repeating what has been said word for word is not a part of this technique. It is critical that you understand exactly what the person is trying to say. Parroting, while indicating that you were listening, does not indicate that you understand.
After paraphrasing, give the other person a chance to correct anything they may have said to you during this phase. This helps insure total understanding of the issue. To be successful, you must be able to identify individually small pieces of the issues, one at a time, to help this phase progress. It is now time to move on to step three.
#3 – REPEAT
The Repeat phase is a recurrence of steps one and two until the person speaking with you confirms that you fully understand the issue.
The complexity of the issue will determine how many times steps one an two are repeated. It’s best not to move to phase four until there is no need for repetition. At this point the other person has verified that you understand the issue. Only then should you move to phase four.
#4 – EDUCATE
Now, with a complete understanding of the issue, you can begin to discuss a solution with them and educate them on the appropriate way to handle their issue. This step is no doubt more comfortable for most of us, but should not happen until steps one through three are complete. If necessary, allow them the opportunity to return to steps one, two and three to verify their understanding of the solution.
The value of the L.U.R.E. communications technique
Although this process may seem time consuming, taking these steps intentionally slows you down before giving the solution, which will provide more accuracy and a greater sense of satisfaction for the person you’re talking with. They become more willing to try solutions or suggestions when they feel that you truly listened to the issue. This in turn will eliminate recycling of the issue because they feel that your answers were incomplete.
The L.U.R.E. Listening Technique is a critical piece to successful communication between you and your customers, coworkers and spouse.
Engage a consultant for optimal mastery
While this communications technique is powerful, it can be difficult to master. A communications workshop for your work team (or for the married couples in your church or other social organization) will give you the opportunity to hone your listening skills more quickly and successfully. Contact me for more information.