At its best, skilled listening is an exchange of emotion, a human connection and a reciprocal conversation. The reputation and growth of a business depend heavily on listening skills. What often gets in the way of proficient listening is distraction, emotion and ego.
Listening skills impact a company’s interaction with partners and customers. When done right, entire projects succeed, trust is assured and a good reputation is maintained … all by team members understanding instructions, acknowledging ideas and concerns and encouraging individuals to express themselves.
The key to good communication is to actively practice listening and comprehension skills—whether the exchange is conducted in person, via video or voice, or written in some manner. Skilled listening takes practice, so I work on my listening skills using these simple practices:
- Give an individual your full attention, and, if you are in their presence, maintain eye contact.
- When the person you are conversing with is done, rephrase their key points and ask whether you understand them correctly.
- Continue to ask questions to gain a better understanding of an individual’s statements.
- Keep notes on information you acquired, so that you can make decisions that benefit your business, and offer comprehensive and robust responses.
- Listen with compassion to what someone else is experiencing without rushing to judgement or being dismissive.
Thank you for reading this.