Enhance Your Listening Skills

When an assignment is given to my employees, I ask if there are any questions.  Everyone is hesitant at first, and then the questions come.  It may take a moment or two, but that is ok. Questions are good, but I then realized that most of the questions revealed that the employees have not listened to my explanation. This surprised me because they appeared to have been listening, but their actual listening skills are poor.

Most of us need to hear something twice and then process it to understand what is being said. It happens in all environments, work, schools, and in relationships. We are not making an attempt to listen to others. This effects companies losing thousands of dollars every year.

We learn by listening but most of us are not good listeners. People listen at or below 25%, retain about half, and forget half within 48 hours. We need to enhance our listening skills.

We have not been taught how to listen so it no wonder we are not listening effectively. A problem is we try to manage many activities at home and work which impairs our listening skills. A major priority is speaking and if we can’t listen how can we speak.

You can improve your listening skills and become an effective listener by learning the process and making an effort.

Look at the following listening strategies and see if your listening skills improve.

  1. Try to eliminate external interference. At work you and a colleague are in an office and there is noise out in the hall way, close your office door.
  2. Conform to the situation. When you are sitting in a meeting with new clients you will probably want to pay closer attention and maybe take notes then if you are watching a T.V. show.
  3. When you show non-verbal communication the person who is talking will see you are listening. You can nod your head, adjust posture, make eye contact or even raise an eyebrow.
  4. It is important that you remember important points from a meeting. Create an effective way to remember them. You can jot notes down or repeat the points mentally.
  5. It is very important not to interrupt a person while they are talking. Let them get their thoughts out before you give your input.
  6. When someone is speaking stay tuned in to the subjectTry to concentrate on the subject even if you are not interested.

 The greatest compliment you can give someone is your attention. We are so occupied with all the activities in our life that we stop listening.  When you listen to someone you can improve your personal relationship and professional one also.

Your main goal is to enhance your listening skills.

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