Active Listening Technique to Establish Successful Communication
Fri, Jun 17, 2022
2 min read
Active listening is a vital skill in any workplace, especially for leaders and managers whose roles have shifted from delegating tasks and organizing workloads to educating employees to help them realize their full potential. When done right, active listening can improve the quality of the conversation and make your employees feel like they are being heard and supported.
Besides being beneficial to leaders, active listening can play an important role in your career development. It is a skill that can be acquired and developed with patience and practice.
Active listening ensures that you can engage and later recall specific details without repeating the information. It is not only about hearing what the speaker is saying, but also about understanding the message, processing the information, and incorporating it into your knowledge base, and then responding appropriately, be it a verbal or physical response.
So why do we need to practice Active Listening?
1. Develop better work relationship
Active listening helps build better relationships as it makes us understand that the conversation is about the person you are speaking with. Putting yourself in someone’s position enables you to react with empathy and in return build trust and an open relationship. It is an invaluable skill in the workplace to be able to foster trust and build strong relationships with colleagues.
2. Break the barrier and get the message across effectively
Active listening is a tool to help you communicate more effectively with the people you're supporting, if used effectively it can break down barriers and make people feel connected and supported. Active listening is a skill that can be developed with practice. It requires listeners to actively listen, reflect and summarize what was said, ask questions at the right time, visualize engagement, and maintain incomprehensible verbal and non-verbal information.
3. Increase your value
Like critical thinking and conflict resolution, the ability to actively listen to your colleagues is one of the most valuable interpersonal skills you can develop. When you actively engage and listen to colleagues' concerns or larger business issues, you can better understand the problem and subsequently develop optimal and accurate solutions to solve the issues at hand.
4. Increase a team’s productivity
Listening is critical to a team’s performance as it has been proven to boost collaboration among teams. A team that listens, understands, and provides feedback towards ideas and opinions that are brought up in a discussion is more likely to work at a productive pace as the team is aligned on their collaboration efforts. It would be impossible to move forward if the team is not listening to one another, or concerns and suggestions aren’t heard or discussed properly.
Here are a variety of active listening exercises you can use to help improve your interpersonal communication skills:
- Paraphrase the main essence of the message shared by the speaker to ensure you understood it completely. This allows for an opportunity to clarify things if needed.
- Ask specific questions to guide the speaker to provide further information they’ve shared on a broad subject or topic
- Provide verbal affirmations such as “I understand”, “Yes, that makes sense” or “I agree” to show that you understand the message and to show that you’re engaged during the entire process.
- Display empathy and show compassion when you recognize they are going through a rough patch.
- Recall information by remembering the main idea or concept that has been shared in the past. This showcases your ability to not only listen but also able to retain and recall details.
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