When it comes to preparing for management or improving yourself in a leadership role speaking authoritatively and getting your instructions across seem to have much more importance than listening.
The fact is that listening to your team or to the higher ups in your organisation is just as important.
We are going to show you 3 ways in which you can improve your listening skills at work. This will allow you to not only take in what others are saying but improve the performance of your own role and that of your team as well.
Put Yourself In The Other Persons Position
Have you ever tried to speak to someone about an important issue and realised that they weren’t really listening? How did that make you feel?
When a colleague is speaking to you think about how important the topic is for them rather than how significant it is for you.
Putting yourself in their position will allow you to listen more attentively to what they are saying which leads us onto practising active listening.
Get Into The Habit of Active Listening
When you are in a meeting or talking one on one with a team member do you really think about what the other person is saying or do you focus on the overall topic and your reply?
Active listening involves focusing solely on what the speaker is saying and not formulating a reply in your head at the same time. If you are already thinking about what to say back, then your concentration will be reduced.
A good way to practice this is to imagine that you are going to be tested on what the other person says after the have finished speaking. This will improve your attentiveness and ensure you pick up on everything your colleague says.
Maintain Eye Contact With The Speaker
This is quite a basic skill but it is one that many people simply don’t do.
If you aren’t maintaining eye contact with the speaker then what are you doing? Looking around you? Focusing on something else? If you are doing this, then you aren’t listening properly!
You pick up on a lot of small signs by keeping eye contact with someone and get beyond the words that they are saying while taking everything in at the same time.
Improving Your Listening Skills At Work
Listening itself is easy but listening effectively is a little bit more difficult.
Improving your listening skills isn’t that hard – it just takes a little practice. If you focus on these three main areas and try to incorporate them into your management role then you will quickly realise how much of the conversation you were missing before.
This is particularly important for managers and leaders. Your team looks at you for guidance and failing to listen properly to their concerns or issues will cause problems in the effectiveness of the work that your staff produce.
By practicing these 3 easy methods to improve your listening skills in the workplace you’ll see how effective the results can be both from a productivity standpoint and a self-development one too.