Communication Listening Skills for Weddings and Parties

by Robbie Schlosser · 3 comments

Thanks in advance for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas. I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation. Tell me what you think, and I'll reply. Promise.

Communication listening skills drive my life and my business.  Everything stems from productive dialogues.  Not monologues, but the generous, thoughtful exchange of ideas and information.

Every day I’m reminded of the importance of developing good listening skills, and I always try to learn something new by observing good practices.  Let me tell you about a recent example.

Here’s the Magnolia Jazz Band two weeks ago, playing at a cocktail party for the ACPWC, an association of wedding coordinators and their colleagues.  Like all salespeople (all of us one way or another, actually), these coordinators make a living talking with many people — clients, prospects, and the other wedding pros they work with.  And their families and friends, of course, whose support enables them to put in such long hours on the job.

Thank you to my friend, and outstanding videographer, David Ethridge, of AVR Films, for the wonderful photo.  For over an hour, we worked amid a swarm of conversations — the room (patio, actually) buzzed with excitement.  Chatter was non-stop, but whenever I looked around (constantly, actually), most people were silent, listening eagerly and waiting their turn to advance their stories.

The same way the musicians advanced through the “story” of each song we played (our own listening skills is the subject for another day), these wedding coordinators were masters of communication listening skills — pacing and guiding their conversations with a few well-chosen words or sentences, and then listening carefully as the others continued the thought.

Lovely to watch, this conversational give-and-take, asking-and-listening, broadcasting-and-receiving.  Like a dance.  Introduce a new idea, then listen to follow where the discussion goes.  Bottom line: When it came to counting minutes of talking, these masters of communication spent lots more time “taking it in” than “giving it out”, whether their conversations were small talk or serious business.

There’s an old saying, about God giving us two ears and one mouth, so we can listen twice as much as we speak.  I’m not so sure about the recommended ratio, but the sentiment seems right on target.

This group impressed me, because I make a living talking with people, too.  And though I’m often tempted to blabber, these pros showed me it’s seldom a good idea, and listening is better.

Every day I’m talking with people planning music for ALL kinds of celebrations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.  If we can ever help you, please call us at 408-245-9120.  I promise I’ll listen carefully to everything you tell me.

Please visit for testimonials, music samples, videos, photos, and our public schedule, and catch us at an event soon.  Our next PUBLIC appearances are on Saturday & Sunday, September 11 & 12, in the “2010 Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival”, in San Francisco.   See details and RSVP for this event on our website.

In the meantime, please join our Facebook “fans”, and you’ll get a reminder for each of our public events.  Thanks for reading my blog.  Please take a moment to SHARE this post, SUBSCRIBE, and send me a COMMENT.

Thanks for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas here. Got one or two? I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation -- I'll reply. Promise.

By the way, does a friend need help selecting wedding or party music? Do them a favor: EMAIL this article, or SHARE it on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

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Meanwhile, the Magnolia Jazz Band entertains at weddings and parties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are ever nearby, you’ll love catching us in action, seeing and hearing us create a great mood.

How can I help you? Call 408-245-9120 or use Planning a celebration? Ask about our availability.

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Stacie Tamaki

Robbie the scenario you describe sounds ideal indeed. The opposite scenario popped into my mind even as I was reading your post. I don’t often watch the TV show “The View” and part of the reason is I don’t care for how when the topics become heated the women often try to talk over each other making it so that viewers can’t understand any of them. It’s just too chaotic.

Yours is a great reminder to take the time to listen to what others have to say. Personally I really enjoy walking up to people at networking events and asking who they are and what do they do. Very often they are incredibly interesting but not always comfortable enough to approach strangers to share their story with you. So you have to invite them to bend your ear.
Stacie Tamaki recently posted..Please Dont SPAM my CommentsMy Profile


Thanks, Stacie.

I agree, it’s difficult to bear people who seem to go through life like three-year-olds crying “Hey, Mommy, look at me! Look at me!” when they’re supposedly engaged in a conversation. And when we see them on programs like “The View”, stoking their egos, it’s a shame we’ll miss whatever point they’d want to make, but I think the reasonable thing for us to do is say enough of this rudeness and click “Off”.

And I love your comment about meeting people in networking mixers. Especially first-timers, who might be a little shy about the whole scene. If I’m a “veteran” at a particular event, I try to act like a host — walk up to someone not yet engaged, introduce myself, welcome them, and start a comfortable conversation. It works — they’re usually grateful to “break the ice” and make a new friend so easily.

conflict management

It is easy for our attention to drift to something else that we might find more interesting. If that’s the case, try to pick up a few key points in the conversation.

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