Active Listening Skills - Do You Have Them?
How would you rate your listening skills on a scale of 1 to 10? I can guarantee that most of us will rate ourselves high on this scale, but in fact, after we listen we can only immediately recall 50% of the conversation. There are so many distractions in our environments, but, here's something that you really need to hear - er, well, read.
Active listening in the workplace will allow you to get the most out of conversations at work and improve workplace relationships and productivity. There is no point to any conversation if both parties aren't actively listening to each other.
Here are four tips for improving your active listening skills:
1) Be attentive and ready to serve. It is crucial to be fully present in the moment and to take note of the body language and tone of the conversation. On your end, make sure that you are making eye contact and nodding your head to confirm that you understand and are listening.
2) Keep an open mind. This is very important - your view is not the only view. Make sure that you are open to all ideas before shutting anything down.
3) Listen to understand. Don't try to prepare what you are going to say next. Instead, maintain your focus on the words that someone is saying. Avoid interrupting and really put yourself in his or her shoes so you can picture the situation through their eyes and thoughts.
4) Ask questions and give feedback. After the conversation, mention a few key points to verify that both of you are on the same page. Ask questions relative to the topic to seek clarification. Do not ask questions that are going to trail off topic.
Active listening will allow you to build trust and understanding in the workplace environment. This is a skill that can be acquired and we can all use these tips/tricks to make the most of all of our conversations - in and out of the workplace.
There's a quote that says "Listening is like oxygen to the other person" and when you re-frame your mindset to follow this, you will see and hear wonderful results!