Active listening builds social cohesion with the speaker, while distracted or judgmental listening builds social distrust.
What happens when you and your employee, friend, family, or client speak over each other? Do you think it makes for a productive effort and effective meeting? It’s doubtful. More likely, the interaction could make the other feel unheard, unseen, and not taken seriously.
When you visit your doctor, what do you expect them to do? Listen. But that isn’t enough, is it? They can’t just stand in the room. Every patient expects their health care provider to listen to their concerns and issues and absorb the information helpfully. Unfortunately, a significant cause of
As a leader in your field, how did you develop your skills? They weren’t developed in a vacuum. Instead, you watched, listened, and learned how others performed and used that knowledge to earn your current position. If you want to continue that growth and performance,
Active listening is taught to teachers, liaisons, aids, interpreters, police officers, social workers, and religious leaders. By definition, it requires your full
There are only
Most likely, you’ve encountered active listening in all aspects of your life and potentially every day of your life. However, each moment of life could require a slightly altered version of active listening. Mastery of all situations leads to
A spouse, family member, parent or child deserves a moment of uninterrupted time. However, the most affected people in our lives can be our children. Giving them the correct type of attention grows healthy bonds and teaches them to be stable and empathetic adults. For example, being an
You may not have to interact with children in your professional life, but you will earn the respect of your colleagues if you treat them as individuals with valid opinions rather than cogs in a machine. Active listening and responding with
Active listening should be included in the corporate culture as a respected tool for all employees. Practiced active listening can positively affect productivity,
When practicing active listening, the first thing you need to learn is that hearing is not listening. You can hear birds, but that doesn’t mean you understand them. Take in the speaker’s words like a deep breath. Breathe them into your mind and dissect them.
Learn to stay silent. Silence is a tool. Shutting your mouth allows them to open theirs. Let the speaker finish their thought before responding. It could be that their words will answer your question or bring up more critical issues.
Always respond. Don’t parrot back what they’ve just given you. Instead, summarize it. Ask if you’ve stated their opinion correctly. Ask a probing question for clarity. Create an extension to their logic. However, don’t judge. Putting them down makes them feel like they’ve wasted their time and could negatively impact future interactions.
If possible, share their thoughts and comments with others. Communicating their ideas to others reinforces your initial act of listening. In addition, they will feel empowered by your act of respect. Just make sure to give them credit.
Active listening shouldn’t focus on what not to do, but rather on uninterrupted listening. First, however, here is a list of the
Prejudging — judging while the speaker is talking – judging the opinion in the follow-up response
Developing a counterargument or dismissing the thought before the speaker is done communicating
Hearing without understanding or just listening for facts instead of intent
Allowing diversity differences to interfere or affect the moment in negative ways, usually from preconceived notions of the individual or what they have to offer
Communication is an art. However, it is also a skill anyone can develop with time and proper practice. When you meet someone who interacts with you using active listening, you can feel better about yourself, your actions, and your
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