Comm Series #4: Listening

2 Feb

Do you want to have an interesting discussion? Ask any professional woman “What irritates her about male colleagues?”  One of the top three answers will be: They don’t listen.

Effective listening is one of the most respectful things we can do with others.

Yet on a day-to-day basis in the workplace and elsewhere there is very little evidence of people practicing good listening skills.  Consider how often we are either not heard or misunderstood in both our private and work lives.  Why?

Americans always seem to be in a hurry and the “hurry-up syndrome” precludes taking the time to listen to others.  Also, most of us have a natural tendency to be thinking of our response when others are speaking.  This interferes with good listening and we often miss critical elements, make an inappropriate response and inadvertently offending others.

Improve your listening skills by practicing a simple procedure called “active listening.”  Although there are many facets to active listening, the essential ingredient is to restate or summarize what the other person has said.  This forces us to attend to the content of the message.

The benefits of effective listening are fivefold:

1.    Receive more information.

2.    Show your respect for others.

3.    Earn others’ respect and confidence.

4.    Save time.

5.    Can be an effective conflict management tool



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