Active Listening

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Listening is of great importance to any professional. It improves knowledge, it improves personality and it greatly improves your interpersonal skills. We can improve our listening skill by some conscientious efforts. Some of them are discussed here.

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Active Listening:

Active Listening Hear What People are Really Saying babuappat@gmail.com

Learn how to listen actively:

Learn how to listen actively Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others

Why Listen Actively?:

Why Listen Actively? We listen to obtain information. We listen to understand. We listen for enjoyment. We listen to learn.

Given all this listening we do, you would think we'd be good at it! :

Given all this listening we do, you would think we'd be good at it!

In fact most of us are not, research suggests that we remember between 25 percent and 50 percent of what we hear:

In fact most of us are not, research suggests that we remember between 25 percent and 50 percent of what we hear

That means that when you talk to your boss, colleagues, customers or spouse for 10 minutes, they pay attention to less than half of the conversation:

That means that when you talk to your boss, colleagues, customers or spouse for 10 minutes, they pay attention to less than half of the conversation

This is abysmally dismal!:

This is abysmally dismal!

Turn it around and it reveals that when you are receiving directions or being presented with information, you aren't hearing the whole message either:

Turn it around and it reveals that when you are receiving directions or being presented with information, you aren't hearing the whole message either

You hope the important parts are captured in your 25-50 percent, but what if they're not?:

You hope the important parts are captured in your 25-50 percent, but what if they're not?

Clearly, listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving. :

Clearly, listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving.

By becoming a better listener, you will improve your productivity, as well as your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate:

By becoming a better listener, you will improve your productivity, as well as your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate

What's more, you'll avoid conflict and misunderstandings. All of these are necessary for workplace success!:

What's more, you'll avoid conflict and misunderstandings. All of these are necessary for workplace success!

Tip::

Tip : Good communication skills require a high level of self-awareness. By understanding your personal style of communicating, you will go a long way towards creating good and lasting impressions with others

About Active Listening:

About Active Listening The way to become a better listener is to practice "active listening." This is where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, try to understand the complete message being sent

In order to do this you must pay attention to the other person very carefully:

In order to do this you must pay attention to the other person very carefully

You cannot allow yourself to become distracted by whatever else may be going on around you, or by forming counter arguments that you'll make when the other person stops speaking:

You cannot allow yourself to become distracted by whatever else may be going on around you, or by forming counter arguments that you'll make when the other person stops speaking

Nor can you allow yourself to get bored, and lose focus on what the other person is saying. All of these contribute to a lack of listening and understanding:

Nor can you allow yourself to get bored, and lose focus on what the other person is saying. All of these contribute to a lack of listening and understanding

Tip::

Tip : If you're finding it particularly difficult to concentrate on what someone is saying, try repeating their words mentally as they say them – this will reinforce their message and help you stay focused

To enhance your listening skills, you need to let the other person know that you are listening to what he or she is saying:

To enhance your listening skills, you need to let the other person know that you are listening to what he or she is saying

To understand the importance of this, ask yourself if you've ever been engaged in a conversation when you wondered if the other person was listening to what you were saying:

To understand the importance of this, ask yourself if you've ever been engaged in a conversation when you wondered if the other person was listening to what you were saying

You wonder if your message is getting across, or if it's even worthwhile continuing to speak:

You wonder if your message is getting across, or if it's even worthwhile continuing to speak

It feels like talking to a brick wall and it's something you want to avoid:

It feels like talking to a brick wall and it's something you want to avoid

Acknowledgement can be something as simple as a nod of the head or a simple "uh huh." :

Acknowledgement can be something as simple as a nod of the head or a simple "uh huh."

You aren't necessarily agreeing with the person, you are simply indicating that you are listening.:

You aren't necessarily agreeing with the person, you are simply indicating that you are listening.

Using body language and other signs to acknowledge you are listening also reminds you to pay attention and not let your mind wander:

Using body language and other signs to acknowledge you are listening also reminds you to pay attention and not let your mind wander

You should also try to respond to the speaker in a way that will both encourage him or her to continue speaking, so that you can get the information if you need:

You should also try to respond to the speaker in a way that will both encourage him or her to continue speaking, so that you can get the information if you need

While nodding and "uh huhing" says you're interested, an occasional question or comment to recap what has been said communicates that you understand the message as well:

While nodding and "uh huhing " says you're interested, an occasional question or comment to recap what has been said communicates that you understand the message as well

Becoming an Active Listener:

Becoming an Active Listener There are five key elements of active listening. They all help you ensure that you hear the other person, and that the other person knows you are hearing what they say

1. Pay Attention:

1. Pay Attention Give the speaker your undivided attention, and acknowledge the message. Recognize that non-verbal communication also "speaks" loudly

What you should do:

What you should do Look at the speaker directly. Put aside distracting thoughts. Don't mentally prepare a rebuttal! Avoid being distracted by environmental factors. For example, side conversations. "Listen" to the speaker's body language

2. Show That You're Listening:

2. Show That You're Listening Use your own body language and gestures to convey your attention

What you should do:

What you should do Nod occasionally. Smile and use other facial expressions. Note your posture and make sure it is open and inviting. Encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal comments like yes, and uh huh

3. Provide Feedback:

3. Provide Feedback Our personal filters, assumptions, judgments, and beliefs can distort what we hear. As a listener, your role is to understand what is being said. This may require you to reflect what is being said and ask questions

What you should do:

What you should do Reflect what has been said by paraphrasing. "What I'm hearing is," and "Sounds like you are saying," are great ways to reflect back. Ask questions to clarify certain points. "What do you mean when you say." "Is this what you mean?" Summarize the speaker's comments periodically

Tip::

Tip : If you find yourself responding emotionally to what someone said, say so, and ask for more information: "I may not be understanding you correctly, and I find myself taking what you said personally. What I thought you just said is XXX; is that what you meant?"

4. Defer Judgment:

4. Defer Judgment Interrupting is a waste of time. It frustrates the speaker and limits full understanding of the message

What you should do:

What you should do Allow the speaker to finish each point before asking questions. Don't interrupt with counter arguments

5. Respond Appropriately:

5. Respond Appropriately Active listening is a model for respect and understanding. You are gaining information and perspective. You add nothing by attacking the speaker or otherwise putting him or her down

What you should do:

What you should do Be candid, open, and honest in your response. Assert your opinions respectfully. Treat the other person in a way that you think he or she would want to be treated

Key Points:

Key Points It takes a lot of concentration and determination to be an active listener. Old habits are hard to break, and if your listening habits are as bad as many people's are, then there's a lot of habit-breaking to do!

Be deliberate with your listening and remind yourself frequently that your goal is to truly hear what the other person is saying:

Be deliberate with your listening and remind yourself frequently that your goal is to truly hear what the other person is saying

Set aside all other thoughts and behaviors and concentrate on the message:

Set aside all other thoughts and behaviors and concentrate on the message

Ask questions, reflect, and paraphrase to ensure you understand the message:

Ask questions, reflect, and paraphrase to ensure you understand the message

If you don't, then you'll find that what someone says to you and what you hear can be amazingly different!:

If you don't, then you'll find that what someone says to you and what you hear can be amazingly different!

Start using active listening today to become a better communicator, improve your workplace productivity, and develop better relationships:

Start using active listening today to become a better communicator, improve your workplace productivity, and develop better relationships

Hope this session has been of help to you in achieving this end.:

Hope this session has been of help to you in achieving this end.

babuappat@gmail.com:

babuappat@gmail.com

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