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Quick Quiz Preparation : Preparation To get the most of this tutorial, we suggest that you prepare with writing instruments and your canvas (blank paper) available as you follow along. You can document your personal ideas and observations as you follow the presentation. For best results, group participation or review is recommended. It is also suggested that you go through the entire process and then review what you have learned in practice. You may find some immediate opportunities to improve. Look for this icon in the top right corner as a prompt for you to document your personal strategy canvas. Active Listening Skills : Active Listening Skills Define the term and purpose of “Active Listening” Ineffective Listening Habits Attending Skills Reflective Skills Test Your Skills Communication Barriers Quick Quiz Purpose of Active Listening : Purpose of Active Listening Hear and Understand the content and feeling of another’s message Promote the expression of content and feeling Convey to the speaker that the message is important and valued Confirm that the message is important and valued Provide opportunity for speaker to hear their own message Ineffective Listening Habits : Ineffective Listening Habits Thoughts are somewhere else, tuning out the speaker You think that you know what will be said next Distracted by sights or activity, not listening Emotional response distracts you from listening Thinking about what you are going to say next Concentrating on something else Not listening from the perspective of the speaker Attending Skills : Attending Skills Attending Skills Attending Skills : Attending Skills Physical Skills Face the speaker directly Have an “Open Posture” (Open Arms, not crossed, not defensive) Lean towards the speaker (indicates involvement and interest) Maintain direct eye contact Remain relaxed (no fidgeting, not rigid, appear comfortable and open) Create a relaxing and comfortable environment for the speaker Practice sitting with an open and receptive pose. Maintain good posture or lean forward if standing. Prepare your environment, does it welcome a comfortable conversation? Attending Skills : Attending Skills Following Skills Do not interrupt the speaker Do not divert the speaker by asking too many questions Do not divert the speaker with too many statements or observations Do not “fill in” words or complete sentences (let the speaker finish) Encourage the speaker to tell their own story Use prompters like “yes”, “go on”, and “I understand” Nod your head, show subtle signs of attentiveness Attending Skills : Attending Skills Following Skills Allow time for Silence Allow the speaker time to reflect and prepare the next dialogue Reflective Skills : Reflective Skills Reflective Skills Reflective Skills : Reflective Skills Paraphrase Accurately restate the speaker’s message Use your own language to convey factual information only Example: Speaker: “This project has been a complete disaster. All of the managers loved to listen to the sound of their own voices. As a result, we spent months talking about how we got into the situation and what needed to be done, rather than working on a fix. We needed to have something in place several weeks ago, and now we will never make our budget. They will probably hold me accountable, but I can’t do anything about the management!” Listener: “So, now you are behind schedule and over budget.” Reflective Skills : Reflective Skills Reflection of feeling Accurately restate your perception of the emotions of the speaker Example: Speaker: “This project has been a complete disaster. All of the managers loved to listen to the sound of their own voices. As a result, we spent months talking about how we got into the situation and what needed to be done, rather than working on a fix. We needed to have something in place several weeks ago, and now we will never make our budget. They will probably hold me accountable, but I can’t do anything about the management!” Listener: “I understand, you feel personal pressure and frustration from this situation.” Reflective Skills : Reflective Skills Focusing Keep the flow of the conversation goal directed and specific Example Speaker: “This situation is hopeless. If Ted would agree, then we could start making progress immediately. Unfortunately, Ted is unwilling to commit or make a decision. It reminds me of the time that he waited six months to agree to this procedure in the past. The last time that we went through this kind of situation he dragged his feet and eventually just did not respond at all. Several years ago he did the same thing in another situation. Listener: “What are your options to move forward in this situation?” Reflective Skills : Reflective Skills Clarifying Attempt to understand vague, confusing or unclear communication Example Speaker: “This is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s like the tail wagging the dog. It seems like no big deal at first, but it could have devastating results. Nobody else pay attention to the future. They just think that I have some kind of crystal ball and can wave a magic wand to make it all go away. Next thing that you know, there is some ball under the rug and nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the corner of the room.” Listener: “Are you saying that you see the potential for a big problem?” Test Your Skills : Test Your Skills Paraphrase the following conversation On a job Interview: “The last person who had this job was very dynamic and energetic. The customers loved that personal attention and it was reflected in the numbers. These are some really big shoes to fill, because these are demanding customers and they do not put up with delays, inconvenience or mistakes. Some people just can’t handle the pressure or the demands of the position. Once you learn the financial aspect and the processes, then you have to deal with the customers. Do you have any experience like that?” Paraphrase the dialogue to pinpoint the important facts before you provide and example of your experience. In this example, paraphrasing the dialogue assures that you respond to the most important aspects of the position. Active listening techniques help you respond to the most important facts and separate miscellaneous comments. Test Your Skills : Test Your Skills Reflection of feeling Responding to a customer complaint: “You can’t possibly understand how I feel because nobody at your company cares about my problem. I have called five different numbers and talked to people in at least two different countries. You keep asking the same questions, but nobody is paying attention to my answers. How can you not know what I just told four other people before you? Are you going to help me, or are you just going to pass me off to another phone number to get rid of me, like all of the other people did?” Reflect the feeling of the customer complaint to express that you recognize and value the emotional state of the individual. In this example, reflecting the feeling of the emotional customer complaint is an example of how Active Listening can help to connect with the customer, demonstrate your value and respect for the individual concerns, and begin the transition toward a logical and fact oriented dialogue. Test Your Skills : Test Your Skills Focusing Responding to an employee complaint: “I don’t think that the members of the other department are doing their fair share. They don’t know what it is like to have to deal with these issues. We see the problems and we tell them about the problems, but they don’t seem to care about fixing the problems. It seems to get worse every single day, and they just ignore it. How can they get away with letting this situation continue?” Create a response that redirects the conversation toward a goal. In this example, redirecting the situation toward a common goal is a useful way to utilize Active Listening in a positive manner and defusing emotional judgment or value statements of other individuals or departments. The first priority is focusing the emotional energy of the disgruntled employee with active listening, then dealing with the observed issue. Test Your Skills : Test Your Skills Clarifying Responding to a request or opportunity: “We need to have something that fits in our budget, but I don’t want to be too cheap either. It won’t do us any good if we can’t get the performance that we need, so we need to spend enough to get the performance, but no more than we have to spend. It is tough enough to get this kind of budget approved in the first place. I do not want to have to ask for more, but I have to spend it or I will lose the money in the budget. What can you do for me?” Create a clarifying response to identify the needs and boundaries. In this example, active listening skills are absolutely essential to understand the boundaries and the requirements of the situation. If you were already thinking about your response, you might miss the critical importance in this opportunity. Communication Barriers : Communication Barriers Communication Barriers Communication Barriers : Communication Barriers Negative Remarks “That’s nothing”, “That’s ridiculous”, or “That’s impossible”Instead try, “You sound very concerned” Accusations “You can’t be serious”, or “You should know better”Instead try, “Help me understand a little better” Assumptions “I know exactly what that feels like”Instead try, “I had a similar situation one time” Communication Barriers : Communication Barriers Directives or Advice “You should”, “You need to try to”, or “Don’t do that”Instead try, “Something that worked for me in the past is” Clichés “Everything will work out just fine”, or “Hang in there”Instead try, “It sounds serious” Judging Values “That is terrible”, or “That was bad”Instead try, “It sounds like it was difficult for you” Test Your Skills : Test Your Skills Check these statements. As an active listener, would you use these statements or would you phrase them differently? Test Your Skills : Test Your Skills How did your results compare? Review Skills : Review Skills In what situations can you apply “Active Listening” How can your avoid Ineffective Listening Habits Practice Attending Skills Practice Reflective Skills Pause, Think and Circumnavigate the Communication Barriers Certificate of Achievement : Certificate of Achievement www.ExecutiveBlueprints.com/certificates/012190.htm Free Certificate of Achievement for Completing this Course! Click on the link below to print your free on-line Certificate of Achievement. Click on the special link above and connect to our web site Type Your Name as you would like it to appear on the Certificate Change your Page Setup or Printer to LANDSCAPE Print your certificate Note – Requires the ability to connect to the Internet and local connected printer. 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