Effective Listening for Effective Communication

Most of the times as professionals we attend many trainings on effective communication. Great deal of importance is been given to communication, to deal with public speaking and many workshops have been arranged for communicating effectively. Good speaker is sought-after skill.

Public speaking is considered to be an essential ability for those who desire to advance their career in business or climb the ladder to higher posts. But considering all the noise concerning the importance of speaking, listening is literally brushed aside.

It can be argued that listening is equally as important as speaking. Everyone expects to be heard and understood, and we reward people who provide us with those opportunities with our trust and loyalty. The best way to understand a person is to listen to him.

Listening skills are hard to develop as we are always told to be speaking out loud to be noticed. For a great leader to be, listening skills are of utmost importance.

Few ways to increase listening ability:

Focus: How would you feel if you are speaking to someone and found that they are distracted by something and not really listening to you?

Effective Listening for Effective Communication

Effective Listening

You probably thought this was annoying, and disrespectful. At that point you may have even become angry or shut the conversation down. When someone is speaking it is really important to be focused and be fully present in the moment with them. If you have anything else in mind, like replying to text message let the person know about it, get your thing done and give complete attention to the person talking to you. It would really help if you not just focus on words but also on the tone, facial expressions.

Empathy: When someone is telling you something, try to imagine yourself in that situation. Make an effort to understand their point of view. People will appreciate that you made the effort to understand and really hear them. An appreciative listener is always stimulating.

Summarize: If someone is taking to you and seeking advice, it’s always better to summarize what you understood from the conversation. Let them know you heard them carefully and clarify in case of any doubts. This builds confidence between the speaker and you.

Listen, not hear: Most people are thinking about their replies when someone is talking. Instead of doing that, try to listen and understand what the person is saying. Stephen Covey stated once “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

Free from Prejudices: People who are curious see conversations as learning experience. They are free of preconceived notions are open to different point of view.

If you want to gain influence in the workplace its way more important that you listen more than you talk.

Of all the skills of leadership, listening is most valuable – and one of the least understood. Most captions of industry listen only sometimes, and they remain ordinary leaders. But a few, the great ones, never stop listening. That’s how they get word before anyone else of unseen problems and opportunities.”

-Peter Nulty, National Business Hall of Fame Fortune Magazine

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