Attention employers: Use these two tips to become a better listener

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 27 Jun. 2014

Tags: how to become a better listener, tips to become a better listener, becoming a better listener

If we were to draw up a list of the skills an employer needs to have, “being a good listener” would make it on that list.

Business development trainer, James Nathan, says successful entrepreneurs can profit as much from effective listening as speaking.

He says, “we use listening to gain understanding, to obtain information, and to learn. Being a better listener will benefit you in improved productivity, influence, persuasion and negotiation. You’ll avoid more misunderstanding and improve rapport and communication.”

Use these two tips to improve your listening skills and promote effective communication in your business.

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Use these three tips to become a better listener as an employer

#1: Don’t fake it

Award winning writer, Lee Polevoi writes that, Bernard Ferrari, the author of Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All, calls people who regard conversations as opportunities to broadcast their own status or ideas, or who spend more time formulating their next response than listening to their conversation partners “bad listeners.”

Ferrari’s list of bad listeners includes:
  • The opinionator: Someone who “listens to others primarily to determine whether or not their ideas conform to what he or she already believes to be true.”
  • The answer man: Anyone who “spouts solutions before there’s even a consensus about the challenge — a clear signal that input from conversation partners isn’t needed.”
  • The pretender: Individuals who “feign engagement and even agreement but either aren’t interested in what you’re saying or have already made up their minds.”

If you’re guilty of being a bad listener, do what good listeners do.

They don’t interrupt nor form an opinion prematurely about what’s being said. They wait until the other person is finished before they create a response.

Don’t ignore this next tip. It’s crucial if you want to become a better listener.

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One additional tip to help you become a better listener

#2: Focus on who you’re talking to

As difficult as it may be in a busy work environment, active listening requires that you stop doing everything else and just listen. Put down your phone or tablet. Clear your head of the distractions that keep you from focusing on the person you’re engaged with, writes Polevoi.

Here’s the bottom line: Actively listening requires a greater commitment on your part. Enhanced communication will help you lead your employees better and make meaningful contact with your customers, concludes Polevoi.




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