|Eliminate These Poor Listening Habits|
To be successful in the workplace, it is imperative to be a strong listener. Listening enables leaders to not only take in information objectively before analyzing the information and using it to make decisions, but also to show respect to the person speaking. If the below habits sound familiar, work to eliminate them.
Drifting off as another person is speaking can lead to embarrassing moments of continually asking, “What did you say?” Stay engaged during the conversation, and ask relevant questions as the speaker delves into the topic at hand.
When assessing a speaker’s appearance, clothing or habits, it’s difficult to hear the message he or she is trying to convey. Focus on maintaining good eye contact to trigger your ability to concentrate. The other person’s appearance is always less important than his or her message, and it is important to be respectful to the speaker.
Considering your rebuttal to a specific point and forming an article in your head prevents you from focusing on the speaker’s presentation as a whole. This practice will only hurt you in the long run. You’ll miss important points of the conversation and will only be able to speak to one aspect of what was said instead of the presentation as a whole. Take notes during the presentation and form your opinion as you go. Once the speaker is done, take a moment to compose yourself and use your notes to craft your own speech.
This involves giving the appearance of being an engaged listener by nodding and agreeing with whatever you hear without actively engaging in what is being said. A strong listener pays attention and challenges the speaker when necessary. Focus on the presentation and actively listen, instead of pretending.
—Adapted from Communication Solutions December 2014 newsletter, www.communicationbriefings.com