People often talk about what it takes to make a deal, or what it takes to make sure that the workforce or the team does what it’s meant to do. It’s considered to be great management when the goal is accomplished, but alas, that is not often so – often there are many better ways to accomplish a certain goal. Whether these ways have been considered often depends on how well people are able to listen to each other.
Listening is not the same as hearing. Listening is a skill. Listening is essential to understanding the other person’s position and finding a solution that’s a win-win for all. Here’s how to improve your active listening skills in the workplace.
It involves all your attention
Active listening is not a matter of hearing what another person says and then making your own conclusions based on the words that were uttered. Active listening is a skill that requires all your attention, as emotions and a point of view can be expressed in different ways. It’s important to learn the skill of active listening, and the following methods will help you a lot:
Taking notes or recording
If you have a good memory, then you may be able to go through the conversation without having to write things down. On the other hand, it’s always best to record things – after or during the conversation – in order to be able to review all the facts of the issue. After recording, have the data transcribed by professional transcription services. UK transcription services are always a good choice.
Ask for important information. Never be hesitant in asking for whatever it takes to make you understand the issue.
It often helps to paraphrase what the speaker has just told you. It proves consideration and your understanding.
There’s nothing more important than getting a comprehensive understanding, so always ask for clarification if you are unsure of certain aspects.
Remember, however, that active listening does not involve saying the right things or asking the right questions – it’s a process that involves all the senses, and some things should be said when it comes to non-verbal language (body language). For example, if you question a person with your arms crossed on your chest, the person may feel intimidated and may not tell you what is necessary in order for you to resolve the conflict. The same thing might happen if you stare at the person in a direct manner – the person might feel threatened.
On the other hand, eye contact is important, as is a calm demeanour and an understanding smile. It takes a little bit of practice, but luckily, active listening is a skill that anyone can learn. It’s an invaluable skill, so it pays to apply it.