The last time you sat in the office with your boss, did you really, truly believe what he was saying to you? Or just let his words move in one ear and out the other? What about when you listened to your team’s thoughts on your newest proposal, which you believed was a great idea to improve the payroll system. Did you really want to hear their comments, or just going through the motions because you were told to discuss with your team?
These types of scenarios happen all the time. It is the person who recognizes that truly listening in order to learn about other people’s perception, assess the meaning behind the words , and translate it into new words, or actions that will trigger the brain to hear what people are telling you without being defensive, anger or indifferent.
Sounds great, but stop right there, it is not that simple. Researchers suggests that we remember between 25 to 50 percent of what we hear. That means you, your boss, colleagues and even your spouse are really only paying attention to less than one half of your conversation!
Active listening is the skill you need to master. Good communication skills require a high level of self-awareness. Understanding your personal style of communicating, will go a long way in creating good, lasting impressions and most of all truly listening to what others are saying!
Tip One for helping you pay attention to the other person: Concentrate on what someone is saying, try repeating their words mentally as they say them – this will reinforce their message and certainly will help you stay focused and less distracted.
Tip Two in order to silently communicate that you are actively listening, a key component must be completed. Feedback! Repeat out loud to the individual you are listening to; “This is what I am hearing…” or “Is this what you mean?” These short phrases will go a long way in the perception of others have of you.
For more information, tips and activities to improve your listening skills please contact Voyager Leadership Training.
Written by Carey G MacConnell; Voyager Leadership Training, LLC