Heilmann, Ronald L. (1993, ASQC) University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Milwaukee, WI
Listening is often overlooked as an aspect of total quality. A good syntonic listener is one who observes both verbal and nonverbal cues. This technique of listening via all the senses allows for improved relationships with internal customers and suppliers. Syntonic listening is necessary because only about 7% of a typical message is sent through words; the other 93% is transmitted by facial expressions, gestures, and other nonverbal actions. One application of syntonic listening is to help the listener understand a speaker by observing the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic methods that the speaker is using. By being aware of all these methods, the listener can receive the full message and respond in a format that the speaker understands. Another application is to eliminate misunderstandings that result from verbal attacks. When these occur in conflict situations, the syntonic listener can ignore the bait of a message and instead pay attention to the real message. Examples demonstrate how training in syntonic listening help communication between: a chief operating officer and the management team; a shipping supervisor and plant superintendent; account managers and dealers; and front-line supervisors and their teams.