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The art of listening has gotten lost in an age of digital communication. There seems to be a lot of noise out there but being able to really tune in when communicating with clients and team members, or even your boss, has never been more important. Here are several tips to help you build up your active listening skills and dramatically improve your communication skills at work.

Understand the need for deeper communication

Listening may be a very underrated professional skill, but it is an important one. In many jobs you will be required to understand and process important or complex information as not listening effectively can lead to potentially costly mistakes, misunderstandings and lost opportunities. Not everyone is a great listener, but those people who are make big changes to the success of the business and the projects they support.

What do we mean by active?

Active listening is different than common listening in that it is not passive. You don’t just sit back and let someone else bombard you with their own thoughts and allow everything to sink in. Active listening means staying engaged, making good eye contact, nodding your head, repeating back bits of what you hear to confirm that you are understanding what the speaker is trying to share with you.

Listen More Than You Talk

Interestingly, communicating is more about connecting with other people than in getting your message across. By listening actively, and really engaging the people you are listening to, you will connect better with the people you are looking to communicate with. That active listening builds trust. People who trust you are more willing to listen to you in the future. Plus, people who listen more than they talk appear more confident even if they don’t feel it internally.

When you are actively listening, you are fully focused, concentrating and understanding the words that your coworker is sharing with you. If you can respond and recall a conversation fully after the engagement has passed, you know that you have been actively listening and building better relationships because of it. Not to mention that by listening more than you talk, you allow other people to take the spotlight, and you can sit back and relax.

Communication is key

Communication is by far the most important skill of a great team player and of a leader. That means speaking and writing clearly and concisely so that team members understand you, and actively listening so that you understand your coworkers. Discussing issues openly and making sure your teammates are on the same page as you will help to create a cohesive work environment. This in turn will bring you greater success and help you deliver more impactful work.

For more support growing your career, connect with the team at Williams Industrial today.

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