Develop the Habit of Active Listening
"Active listening" is the practice of engaging with a speaker using techniques of listening that maximize understanding. The goal is more complete communication. Active listening is conscious and purposeful. The skill is often taught in couples counseling because it reduces misunderstandings, conflicts, and frustration; increases closeness; and helps people solve problems faster. Obviously, active listening has immense value in the workplace. Do you know how to actively listen? To practice active listening, decide to be neutral and nonjudgmental when the speaker begins. Don’t interrupt. Periodically reflect back your understanding. Don’t "fill the silence" when the speaker pauses. Use nonverbal behaviors to show you’re listening and engaged. Finally, ask for clarification if needed, and summarize what you heard.
Keith Stein |