Communication is essential to daily life. When you work at a company, your communication skills become a valuable tool to building relationships, expanding leadership, and improving efficiency. When we think of communication, almost by default we think of speaking.
However, arguably the most important form of communication is listening. Some are great at this, while others are not. Regardless, it does not matter what level you’re at in order to improve your listening skills. Improving them can contribute to personal growth and success in your career. So how can someone who tends to interrupt and ignore others learn to listen more effectively? We’ve gathered some tips below to boost up those listening skills to help you excel in your industry.
- Show empathy. Put yourself in the speaker’s shoes. This will help you relate to the speaker and understand their point of view.
- Repeat key points back to who you are conversing with. Ask questions and give feedback to further reflect your understanding of the speaker’s story and feelings.
- Actively listen. Be attentive and pay attention to what the speaker is saying. Becoming more engaged with the speaker will signal to them that you politely want to listen to them. Filter out any bothersome distractions such as other conversations, music, or other noises.
- Do not interrupt the speaker. Chances are, you probably wouldn’t like someone interrupting you so it would be a good idea not to do this to others. Interrupting sends a variety of negative signals to the speaker.
- Listen with an open mind. While this may seem like common sense, if someone has a different point of view than you, you may feel the need to interrupt, argue, or completely dismiss their words. Who knows, you might learn something. While the speaker’s way or opinion might not be the best way, you do not always need to be defensive.
Learning to listen more effectively will not only make you a better person, it will improve your leadership and communication skills. If you have any questions about this topic or are seeking consulting services, give us a call at (630) 773-4402 or send us an email at [email protected]