Far too many of us speak a lot but listen even less.
That most likely means that we aren’t hearing everything that people are trying to tell us.
It’s possible that we’re missing out on a lot.
Active listening can assist us in hearing and learning more. It doesn’t mean we can’t speak, but almost everyone can benefit from listening to what others — particularly our coworkers — are trying to communicate to us.
Listening is one of the most important and undervalued skills you can have. Your ability to listen has a significant impact on your job effectiveness and the quality of your relationships with others.
We listen to music for pleasure, but we also listen to learn and comprehend. We listen to learn, and while many of us believe that learning ends when we leave school, the reality is that it is a life-long process, as the wise have discovered.
According to some studies, we only take in and remember between 25 and 50 percent of what we hear every day. That means we miss up to 75% of what is presented to us.
While some of that lost information may be trivial or unimportant, it could cost you and your company time, money, or both at work.
You cannot pass on this information (which you did not hear) to your clients if you were not listening during the sales meeting when they announced the featured items for the month.
You will not make the extra sales, and you may not meet your monthly sales targets or receive your bonus. Everyone involved is dissatisfied with the situation, particularly you.
The components of better listening are straightforward and include:
This is related to the physical aspect of listening. Active listening begins with facing the person speaking and opening yourself and your posture to listen. You should also maintain eye contact with the speaker while leaning in.
Most importantly, consider relaxing your body, particularly your shoulders, to demonstrate to the other person that you are ready to listen and receive the information he or she is starting to provide.
This is a technique that allows you to concentrate on what the other person is saying while also demonstrating that you are paying attention. You can do this by repeating what you believe the speaker has just said in your own words.
It is not necessary to agree or disagree with the individual. It is simply repeating what you have heard to show the speaker that you were paying attention.
It is often useful to ask questions of the other person to ensure that you are picking up the correct information. This can help to clarify what he or she said or to try to understand the emotions expressed by the other person.
This component can help to add another level of comprehension to the basic facts or information being shared.
Good listeners will frequently use their own words to summarize what the other person is saying and to clarify perceptions of what he or she is attempting to convey. This may also come in handy if you’re listening to a long or complex presentation.
This aspect of listening demonstrates to the listener that you understand and can relate to his or her experience. When dealing with personal issues, empathizing is beneficial — colleagues bring their personal lives to work more than they realize.
It can help you separate your emotions from the information and often allows the other person to share valuable insights that will help you in your work.
Improving your ability to influence, persuade, and negotiate at work can all benefit from becoming a better listener. Improving your listening skills can lead to greater workplace success.