During the holidays, many of you scramble to finish year-end projects; you have multiple projects at work and for Santa. In meetings you might be thinking about what you’re going to buy for someone instead of listening to a co-worker’s or manager’s information about the budget cuts, the new software install in January, or the client close. What did you miss?
When you listen intently you gain access to other’s input and information that will help you with your job or your action management; listen.
Studies show that an average adult only listens – really listens – 50-60 percent of the time. Do you tune out people? When you’re driving to work and listening to the radio do you remember what the announcer, the ad or the song said 100 percent of the time? I know I don’t. Our minds wonder.
To promote active listening, implement these five tools:
- Turn off mobile phones and computers when someone’s in your office.
- Do the same when you’re on a landline; focus on the conversation at hand.
- Ask, “Did I hear you say…?” Repeat what you heard to reinforce the point.
- Look at the person and acknowledge them.
- Refrain from interrupting; let him or her finish before you ask a question or make a comment.
Active listening is a tool you admire, you desire and you require in both your personal and professional lives. It’s a courtesy that others admire too.
Do you hear what I hear? Misinterpretation costs time, money, mistakes and sometimes embarrassment.
Take those five tools and begin to active listen to everyone you come in contact with; you may be surprised at what you learn all year long.