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Are You A Good Listener? [Infographic]

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Find Out If You Are A Good Listener

Work Communication

Whether you have a repetitive job, you’re often deep in concentration, or you’re just naturally not a good listener, making the effort to truly engage with those around you can improve both performance and relationships in the workplace. Even if you believe that you make an effort to listen to others, it can be worth taking five minutes to objectively re-appraise yourself – because it is still possible to fall into the category of ‘bad listener’.

For example, if you’re constantly jumping on what you’re told and running with it in a new direction, you may not be a good listener: be careful not to hijack a conversation by talking over the interlocutor, or filling in gaps when they pause to think or reflect. A conversation is not an opportunity to prove yourself, so much as to develop a favourable outcome for those involved. If you truly have something to say – an idea or an experience that you believe will build on your colleague’s point – try framing it as a question. If you can’t stand silences, try repeating back what they just said, to ensure you understood it properly and to create an aural memory of what has been discussed.

Of course, there is a time to speak up and assert yourself, but this aspect of conversation does not exist in isolation. Try to read the body language of the other person, and understand their viewpoint before offering your response, rather than coldly delivering whatever opinion you held before the start of the conversation. If you’re in a hurry, say so at the beginning of the conversation: maybe it’s best to postpone the chat until a moment when you can give it your proper, considered attention.

To go ahead with that listening skills self-assessment, and look into further ways you can build on your interactions at work, check out this new infographic which guides you through a flowchart of listening habits and offers tips on how to improve.


Are You A Good Listener? [Infographic]

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ARE YOU A GOOD LISTENER?

We hear every day, but are we listening?

We're all guilty of getting distracted or formulating our response rather than fully listening in conversations. But becoming a good listener isn't rocket science, and can be improved with practice.

If you're in the middle of something and someone wants to discuss an issue with you:

  • GIVE FULL EYE CONTACT
    • In conversation, most of the time, your body language is...
      • OPEN ARMS, UNFOLDED
      • CLOSED, YOU FOLD YOUR ARMS
        • Do you often find you need to fill any silence in conversations?
          • NO, I'M HAPPY TO WAIT
            • Do you focus on what others are telling you most of the time?
              • YES, I TRY TO AVOID FORMING THOUGHTS UNTIL THEY'VE FINISHED
                • YOU'RE A GREAT LISTENER
          • YES, I WILL JUMP IN WITH MY THOUGHTS
            • In conversation, do you ask questions to probe further?
              • YES, IT HELPS THEM TO EXPLAIN
                • If an awkward topic is raised, do you normally...
                  • MAKE THEM FEEL COMFORTABLE
                    • YOU'RE AN OCCASIONAL LISTENER
                • If an awkward topic is raised, do you normally...
                  • MOVE IT ON TO ANOTHER TOPIC
                    • YOUR LISTENING SKILLS NEED WORK
            • In conversation, do you ask questions to probe further?
              • NO, I DON'T NEED TO
                • You interrupt what others tell you with your input...
                  • RARELY
                    • YOU'RE AN OCCASIONAL LISTENER
                  • OFTEN
                    • YOUR LISTENING SKILLS NEED WORK
  • LISTEN WHILST DOING SOMETHING ELSE
    • After a conversation has finished, do you normally...
      • REPEAT BACK TO THEM THE MAIN POINT THEY MADE
        • In conversation, do you ask questions to probe further?
          • YES, IT HELPS THEM TO EXPLAIN
            • If an awkward topic is raised, do you normally...
              • MAKE THEM FEEL COMFORTABLE
                • YOU'RE AN OCCASIONAL LISTENER
            • If an awkward topic is raised, do you normally...
              • MOVE IT ON TO ANOTHER TOPIC
                • YOUR LISTENING SKILLS NEED WORK
    • After a conversation has finished, do you normally...
      • INPUT YOUR OWN OPINION QUICKLY
        • Do you mirror other's facial expressions for empathy?
          • HARDLY EVER
            • YOUR LISTENING SKILLS NEED WORK

 

9 TIPS TO BECOME A BETTER LISTENER

YOU'RE A GREAT LISTENER

  • UNDERSTAND THEIR PERSPECTIVE
    • Put yourself in their position an show empathy. To acknowledge their perspective, summarise their words and repeat them back.
  • IF NOW ISN'T CONVENIENT, LET THEM KNOW
    • Explain now's not a good time, as you'd rather give them your undivided attention and schedule a more suitable time.
  • SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES
    • If you asked for advice, share your learning or experience rather than just opinion - this gives more weight to your input and gains trust.

YOU'RE AN OCCASIONAL LISTENER

  • ASK INSTEAD OF ASSUMING
    • Instead of forming your own opinions, ask open questions that can't be answered "yes" or "no". They'll share further, and you understand their viewpoint
  • READ THEIR BODY, NOT THEIR MIND
    • Observe body language for non-verbal cues. Watch for gestures, facial expressions and eye movement.
  • DON'T JUDGE
    • Before you share opinions, just listen - don't close down to their words before they've communicated their message. Let them finish!

YOUR LISTENING SKILLS NEED WORK

  • EMBRACE SILENCE
    • Embrace silence - it can be comfortable! Give both the person and yourself time to reflect on what is being said.
  • DON'T INTERRUPT
    • Avoid offering solutions or asking questions when someone is in the middle of talking. Maintain eye contact until they've finished.
  • GIVE YOUR FULL ATTENTION
    • Put away what you are doing, as it's easy to get distracted. This helps to avoid breaks in your focus during conversations.

'When people talk, listen completely' - ERNEST HEMINGWAY

Listening expands our knowledge - on an intellectual level, we become better thinkers and leaders. But, it takes us deeper too. Quieting our inner mind as we listen enriches communication - we become more open and our relationships are strengthened.

 

 



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Tags: assessmentcommunicationconfessionconversationdistractionexperiencehabitsinfographicinteractionlistenmemorypracticequestionsresponsetips

2 Comments

  1. Are You A Good Listener? [Infographic] https://t.co/vMoJHs4otU via @OneTruConscious

  2. @circlecast says:

    Are You A Good Listener? [Infographic] https://t.co/giqgGVJtz3 via @OneTruConscious

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  • Whether you have a repetitive job, you’re often deep in concentration, or you’re just naturally not a good listener, making the effort to truly engage with those around you can improve both performance and relationships in the workplace.
  • Even if you believe that you make an effort to listen to others, it can be worth taking five minutes to objectively re-appraise yourself – because it is still possible to fall into the category of ‘bad listener’.
  • A conversation is not an opportunity to prove yourself, so much as to develop a favourable outcome for those involved.
  • Try to read the body language of the other person, and understand their viewpoint before offering your response, rather than coldly delivering whatever opinion you held before the start of the conversation.