Improving Your Listening Skills With Employees
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For an adult, listening is a skill that is critical to have in order to learn about others and is one of the most valuable tools to have at the workplace to build rapport with employees. Use this common set of guidelines to help you accomplish effective listening skills in the majority of situations.
1. Make sure that you can hear the speaker. It really is a shock how often people do not listen to other people. It is just as much a surprise how much people do not realize that they can’t even hear other people. This should always be your first guideline.
2. Attempt to listen 75 percent of the time and speak 25 percent of the time. This is a very powerful guideline. This guideline strictly varies depending on the situation. For example, if you are giving a presentation, you will be speaking more. Otherwise, be certain to let the other individual speak more and LISTEN! Again, make sure that you can hear the other person.
3. Adopt a physical posture that shows you are interested. This is a powerful way to show the other person that you are interested in hearing what they have to say. For example, lean forward and maintain strict eye contact. Make certain whatever physical gestures you make are culturally compatible with the other person.
4. While you are listening to the other person, don’t be thinking about what you plan on saying. Did you know that your brain goes four times quicker than a speaker’s voice? The speaker can easily be left behind, therefore, put trust in yourself that you will know how to respond once the speaker is finished.
5. Pay attention to the other’s style of speaking. Different speaking skills come along with different people. Do they speak soft or loud? Fast or slow? Versus their body language, does there appear to be disconnects between what they are saying? Some people might convey the central idea initially, then support it with more information. Other people provide information, followed by the central idea.
6. Listen not for all the facts, but for the central ideas. Leaders who are experienced develop a sense for realizing the most important information.
7. Let the speaker make each major point and do interrupt. Offer a response after the speaker is finished. The only time you should interrupt is to tactfully clarify something to be certain you can hear the speaker.
8. Ask if you are hearing correctly by reflecting back. This is one of the biggest and most powerful guidelines. Begin by asking if you can summarize to the speaker after he or she has finished speaking. Then progress to asking the speaker to reflect back to you what you had just told him or her.
9. Share indications regularly that you are listening to the speaker. Those indications can be simple head nods or saying short points “Yes” when you agree with what is being said.
10. Learn supporting questioning art. Coaching consists of using powerful questions to understand both yours and the speaker’s perceptions, conclusions and assumptions. In order to truly understand others, you must practice questioning skills that are effective.
11. Ask others for communication skills feedback. Often times, people do not know about this of themselves. For example, the leader who believes he has strong listening skills regularly interrupts the speaker. Another example is a leader who speaks of his conclusions, but cannot support them with reasons why he came to the conclusions.
ARE EMPLOYEES REALLY LISTENING TO WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY?
Often times, spoken words are your most frequently used kind of communication. Spoken communication is strongly dependent on the certain culture you are working, as with non-verbal communication. For instance, culture can affect how people speak of humor, conflict, silence, and honest and direct words. Consider the following some general guidelines used widely in multiple cultures.
1. Know the main objective of what you want to convey. Sometimes, people speak with the hope that they are bound to make their point if they talk long enough. Take time to think about what main points you want to make before speaking.
2. Speak about one point at a time. This approach will ensure that rather than being completely overwhelmed with ideas delivered to quickly, your listener will more likely want to listen to you.
3. Speaking slower rather than faster is always better. To practice this guideline, speak along with a news anchor while watching television and you will most likely realize that you are speaking much slower than you thing. Those professionals were trained to learn an effective rate of talking.
4. Vary your voice AWAY from monotone. Monotone can appear to be boring or controlled. This guideline takes some practice, but once established it will be well worth the extra effort.
5. State your conclusion before the supporting information. Often times, it is more reliable to state the conclusion before explaining it.
6. Get comfortable! People speak much better when they are comfortable with the person you are speaking with. If you are confused or uncomfortable, say so.
7. Ask the listener to repeat the main objectives of what you just mentioned to them. This guideline is to ensure that the listener actually heard what you were conveying and be tactful when asking.
8. Ask for feedback on your communication. A powerful way to learn about yourself is from feedback. Ask others how you can improve your speaking skills.