How good listening skills improve communication
Listening skills are a vital leadership skill which many don’t think of
Improving communication is an ongoing process for most of us. We want to get our messages over clearly, to inspire, to motivate and to help, but what about the listening skills side? Are you a self-confessed passive listener or active listener? Listening is such an important factor in business and can often be the difference between making informed decisions or not.
Listening skills are so important that many organisations provide listening skills training for their employees. Enhanced listening skills lead to better performances in all sectors and functions: customer service and sales, HR, and even R&D. The sharing of any ideas and information enhances creativity and innovation. Many business leaders recognise the importance of strong listening skills including Steven Covey and Richard Branson.
Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to reply” Steven Covey
On a personal level finely tuned listening skills can help our overall well-being (reduced blood pressure) and health and intimate relationships.
Don’t confuse Hearing with Listening
Hearing refers to the sounds you process. Listening is about much more than that. It is about focusing on, and processing, the whole message. It also covers non-verbal communication, with acute attention being paid to all elements of body language to decode non verbal cues such as the “angry smile.” We also learn what is not said as well as the spoken word.
This infographic for us sums it up nicely. Being a successful career professional or business owner is so much more than talking and verbally communicating. Listening to our colleagues, our bosses, our partners and clients can provide a really effective path to continued success. All of us need to work on how we pay attention when we communicate.
“If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, we would have two tongues and one ear.” Mark Twain.
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