Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Effective Listening Skills

Listening is much more difficult than speaking. Learn to listen and there's a lot to gain at workplace and home. Know the advantages.

The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent.
Alfred Brendel

Be open and listen to another’s point of view and reflect back to the person as to what you think you heard. This important clarification skills leads to less misunderstanding, with the other person feeling heard and understood. Before explaining your own position, try to paraphrase and condense what the other is saying into one or two sentences. Start with, "So you're saying that..." and see how much you really understand about your rival's position. You may find that you're on the same wavelength but having problems communicating your ideas.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

People who are good listeners tend to be attracted to the caring and counselling professions, where the ability to listen is essential. Gathering information from verbal communication - not only from the words themselves, but also from the tone and timbre - helps the listener really understand what the other person is saying. You need to be silent on the inside as well as outside to listen well!
Jan Stewart

First, communication is a two way street. You have to be ready to listen and receive as much as speak and give. Listening skills helps others to know that you are ready to communicate with them. Active listening is the best skill for this. Active listening is repeating the speaker’s words back to them and clarifying the meaning. Ask questions directly to the speaker. Do not be blameful or accusatory. Use “I” statements and not “YOU” statements. For example, do not say “You are making this too complicated.” Instead, repeat and clarify: “I think this is complex because (repeat), does this mean that (clarify).”
Rita Fae

Expectation can begin a conversation long before a single word is spoken. What we "think" is going to happen in a conversation can greatly impact how we enter it.

Going into a conversation, expecting to be taught, helps set a relaxed mind and body that is open to listen, then speak. You never know, you might come away with more knowledge than you ever expected.
David Duncan

Sometimes we don't understand other people, because we're not listening — or not listening well. We're distracted or simply not paying attention. But sometimes we don't understand them, because we're not hearing what they want to communicate. We're not listening to the right level.
Chris Witt

Who do we listen to? Those who listen to us! The best communicators know that when you take an interest in others by asking questions and remembering important details in their stories, you create a natural bond. Keep your conversations balanced. If you're doing most of the talking, then you're not allowing others to shine. The way to be commanding is not to dominate, but rather reciprocate the gift of listening.
Susan Fee

Listen: The best way to gain respect of your manager or coworkers is to be a good listener. This will bolster their opinion of you as a team member and they will more likely listen to you in return. A helpful hint -- ask questions to clarify your understanding and to show interest in the subject.
Maureen Bauer