Top Tips For Developing Excellent Listening Skills
We often take on-board things around us and describe ourselves as being a “good listener” but this is only part of the situation. To become an effective manager we all need to be far better at hearing what is being said and acting upon the stimulus we receive.
So what are excellent listening skills?
- Be willing to listen; actually want to hear what is going on rather than just ignoring it because you do not like the person involved. Have an open mind and be prepared to actually learn from what is going on.
- Hear the message; receive clearly what has been said and none of the other “noise” around the message (which will only distort and bend the content of the original message). This is not the stage at which to agree or disagree it is just to hear the content and nothing more.
- Interpret the message; what is the meaning in the communication and what does that tell you? Can you play back the message in your own words in such a way that the other person assesses its accuracy?
- Evaluate carefully; suspending judgement is fine but at some point you have to make an assessment on the value and worth of the communication itself. Is it true? Is it of value? Do you want to retain it?
- Respond in an appropriate manner; if a response is called for make it accurately and systematically. This may include silence or just acceptance that you have received the message. Bear in mind though that this is a response that will be assessed by the other party and similarly evaluated.
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