Active listening can be a difficult skill to acquire when you have multiple projects to get done, meetings to attend, and more! Though a tough skill, we must have it. Paying attention to people and listening fully can prevent misunderstandings, conflicts, etc… And if a conflict does come to fruition, we can immediately address and resolve it with the facts we have obtained by listening. Read on for some tips on how to become a better active listener and how it can help you in the workplace!
Understanding and Retaining Information
When you’re actively listening, you’re also more engaged. By listening intently, you’re gaining a better understanding of what the other person is saying. Drifting off in thought can leave gaps in what we retained and we may walk away and do something incorrectly depending on the situation. Or maybe we won’t offer the right solution to the problem because we don’t have the clear view of what the problem even is. Active listening leaves less opportunity for confusion or misunderstanding, which ultimately becomes a waste of time.
Tip: If you struggle with active listening, a great start to improvement is note-taking! If appropriate, say in a meeting setting, it’s an excellent idea to take notes to keep you present. This not only helps you keep focus, but also helps you once the meeting is complete. You’ll now have an in-depth list of notes to help you with something you may need to work on, etc…. depending on the situation.
Active listening can also reduce conflict. A majority of workplace conflicts arise from misunderstandings. If you’re missing out on important instructions because you aren’t fully listening, you’re creating hardships for both yourself and the people working with you. You may end up doing a task wrong or completely missing a deadline and that will not reflect well on you! This also sets others back who may be involved in the project or are depending on you. Making your coworkers or boss angry, makes the whole workplace a hostile environment.
If you’re listening intently and getting your work done correctly and efficiently, you’re essentially building trust with your team. Your coworkers and boss will have more respect for you and will know that they can rely on you when it comes to getting things done. Trust, active listening, and open communication are attributes that make the workplace a more positive environment! The more positive the environment, the more employee retention, job satisfaction, and motivation will occur.
Active listening can go a long way; it’s a domino effect! Do you have any tips or tricks that help you stay on track?