Listening , really listening is not that simple or natural. You can be a good talker and have great things and ideas to share but you may notice that it takes an effort to get your point across, or get the attention of others to focus and really listen to what you are saying.
Listening is just as important, if not sometimes more important for effectively communicating with others. But as many of us know, it takes a real effort to be a good listener. We are eager to be heard, share our ideas, get our point across but at times we are less focused on paying attention and understanding the other side of the conversation.
Active listening skills are important in our day to day life and particularly important in the workplace.
Evokes respect and confidence…employees tend to respond better to and respect supervisors and colleagues who they think are listening to their needs and ideas. A supervisor who listens well is better able to manage negative situations and provide opportunities for problem solving in the workplace both with co-workers and customers.
listening and better understanding can lead to motivating employees. A boost in productivity and solving problems better and faster can occur if people are encouraged to listen to others and work through issues together.
Active listening can prevent misunderstandings, help create positive impressions and generate a good reputation for a business. These are the potential benefits with customers in creating positive word of mouth as well as suppliers and vendors in creating a respectful working relationship.
avoid multi-tasking to give your full attention to the speaker. Silence any distractions such as cell phones, anything that can distract you . You must be willing to give the speaker your full attention.
have the patience to let speaker talk without interrupting. Avoid speaking over them and interrupting with your own conclusions. Allow them their turn.
avoid going into a conversation with a predisposed mindset. Try to stay unbiased till you listen and hear their viewpoint. Keep emotions at bay so they do not get in the way of actively listening.
Be observant of non-verbal cues. People say a lot with body language, facial expressions and other nonverbal actions. These are just as important as verbal communications.