Are you really listening? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Are you really listening?

Get PDF file

by on
in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

What would a conversation be without a speaker and a listener? Not a conversation at all. You need both. Yet we tend to focus on how well we perform as speakers, not as listeners—“What should I say? How should I say it? When should I say it?”

How much energy do you put into your listening skills? Polish up your listening skills with these tips:

Don’t interrupt or talk over the other person.

Don’t cut it short or rush to the “fix it” stage of a conversation. Quickness can be good for getting things resolved, but it halts trust-building.

Interesting fact: Research shows that men may be more likely to cut off the “venting” part of a conversation and jump to the “fix it” stage.

Confirm what you heard, so the other person knows you understood.

“Research shows there’s a distinction between listening for and listening to,” says Laura Janusik, associate professor of communication at Rockhurst University. “Often we listen for what we think we’re going to hear. We put a filter on and don’t hear the whole message.”

Confirming what you heard allows the speaker to correct any misunderstanding.

Use eye contact, head nods and verbal cues (uh-huh) while the other person talks. Women tend to give more “behavioral” cues than men, research shows.

— Adapted from “Listening skills can smooth path to career success,” Diane Stafford, Kansas City Star.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: