Why is great listening important?
Because if you’re only talking and waiting for your turn to talk you could be missing the real story. Do you know when to stop talking and start listening? The real power and magic in communication lies in that gap. The gap between talking and listening.
Almost all communication fails are either caused by making assumptions instead of checking the facts, or by setting things up to fail instead of succeed because you didn’t get clarity. Clarity comes from great listening. If you listen well, then you know exactly what is happening and you can ask appropriate questions, check information, (not assume) and have all the information you need.
When is great listening useful to you?
What happens if you don’t listen?
So, what is good listening?
Next level listening?
Leads the conversation to the benefit of all involved – not just you!
This involves actively seeking to involve the other party in the conversation and acknowledging their input and contribution – not just wait for your turn to talk and say what you want! A key feature of gaining mutual benefit in a conversation is in repeating back what you heard. This helps you remain focused and signals to the team member that they are being heard.
Leading the conversation to its logical conclusion means not only listening, but asking the next obvious question and not leaving the thread too soon, if it’s not resolved then keep going. When you ask questions be direct – give directions clearly and unequivocally so people know exactly what to do and when. If you are not sure they understood you – check, and listen to what they say!
If you need information from your team, family members or friends but you are unsure or apprehensive about how to get it, remember others could be feeling the same too. They may be trying to tell you something, or ask you something, so keep the lines of communication open, and check on them often.
Listening carefully will always help when:
Remember to use discretion
Trust is vital to relationships between supervisor and a team member, between partners and family members and friends. Don’t betray their trust or pass on personal information. This is particularly important if you have people you know working in the workforce. Remember to keep your promises – don’t say things you can’t deliver on.