Trans4mind Home Page
~ A Journey of Self-Discovery ~

Explore Article Library


Effective Listening Equals Effective Leadership

Copyright 2005 Kinesis, Inc.

No matter what role you play in your company, becoming a more effective listener will help you get ahead in your position. It means fewer errors, improved accuracy, and enhanced working relationships. And, listening to your customers and referral sources will definitely help you in your marketing efforts. You will solicit better information from other people whether interviewing job candidates, solving work problems, or working to make a sale.

Contrary to what many people think, being an effective listener is not a passive activity. It takes concentration, effort, and active attention. Because our brains work much faster than our ability to speak, we often jump way ahead of the speaker in our minds and miss the opportunity to fully understand a person's feelings, position, and perspective. Environmental distractions or personal biases can also interfere with our ability to understand what a person is saying.

When listening, you are giving a gift of your time and attention to the other person. Work to respond both verbally and non-verbally to the person who is speaking. This lets the speaker know that you are listening and that you understand what he or she is trying to communicate. Here are some ideas to help you hone your listening skills:

1. Don't Talk. This may seem self-evident. However, many people listen with impatience. They are just waiting for their chance to speak, or worse yet they interrupt. Be courteous and give your listener your full attention. Avoid offering solutions if the speaker is expressing a problem. Just listen.

2. Listen Fully. A good listener looks interested in what the speaker is saying. Your body language speaks volumes. Maintain eye contact, sit still, lean slightly toward the speaker, and nod your head (but not too vigorously or you'll look like a chicken!).

3. Ask Clarifying Questions. Wait for the speaker to pause, and ask clarifying questions. It's a good idea to paraphrase what the speaker has said and to ask questions such as, 'Did you mean.' or 'If I understand correctly, you said - -

4. Provide Feedback. Remain engaged in what the speaker is saying and show this verbally. He or she will appreciate the occasional 'I see...' or 'Really?' or 'I know! -

5. Keep Your Mind Open. The point of listening is to gain new information. Don't just search for a point that supports your own opinions. Be willing to gain new insights and learn about someone else's ideas.

6. Be on the Same Level. Make sure you are at eye level with the other person. Avoid having an employee or customer stand in front of your desk. Have comfortable chairs available so that a desk is not a barrier between you.

7. Respect Your Speaker. If the conversation involves criticism from either party or contains personal information, go to a private room for the discussion. Make sure other people can't listen to your discussion. This will help the speaker feel more at ease and demonstrate your respect for what he or she has to say.

8. Pay Attention to Cues. What isn't being said is often as important than what is being said. Body language speaks volumes. Watch the speaker's facial expressions, posture, eyes, gestures, and other nonverbal cues.

9. Avoid Invalidating Language. While you may not agree with what the speaker is saying, avoid defensive statements or phrases that argue with his or her points. Later, you can take time to review what was said and formulate a response. As an active and effective listener, your role is to allow the person the time and space to fully express his or her feelings.

10. Express Appreciation. Thank the listener for sharing his or her thoughts and feelings. It takes courage to speak up. True sharing builds trust and encourages further dialogue.

It takes time and energy to become a better listener. Be patient. As you begin to improve your listening skills, you may be surprised to find people will seek you out to share their thoughts and feelings. You will also find yourself involved in fewer conflicts and be perceived as a more positive and trustworthy person. Attentive listening is a rare skill that people respect and welcome.

ACTION ITEM: This week, concentrate on your listening skills. Do you finish sentences for others? Do you interrupt? Do you sneak looks at your watch? Pay attention to your listening habits and begin to bring conscious attention to improving these skills. Work to show others that you hear and understand them.

About the author:
Wendy Maynard, your friendly marketing maven, is the owner of Kinesis. Kinesis specializes in marketing, graphic and website design, and business writing. Visit http://www.kinesisinc.comfor more articles. Want to harness the power of kinetic marketing? Sign up for Kinesis Quickies, a free bi-monthly marketing e-newsletter.


AND EXPLORE...

Addictions
Astrology
Careers & Employment
Communication
Creativity
Dating
Depression
Diabetes
Diets
Divorce
Education
Environment
Ethics
Exercise
Family
Goal-Setting
Grief & Loss
Happiness
Health
Kids & Teens
Leadership
Love
Marriage
Meditation
Nutrition
Organizing
Parenting
Psychology
Public Speaking
Relationships
Schools
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Spirituality
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure
Women
Writing


From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Want to renew your life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development...
Start off with a Free Life Assessment and a Free Consultation...
 

Have a question about Trans4mind Training?

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Our Fees?
Email Peter Shepherd

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
 

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
And here's a fantastic resource for self-education...

The World of Inspiration eLibrary

World of Inspiration
A treasure trove of personal development wisdom

Step inside. Just like a real library, there are thousands of quality eBooks presented on three "floors" and in different "rooms." To purchase your $15 Lifetime Membership to the World of Inspiration eLibrary, click the following button:

Payment is made through our secure transaction agent, PayPal.
The transaction is in the language and currency of your choice.
"I want to just say 'WOW!' This collection is probably the best money I ever spent! I've already received many times over in personal enrichment after just 9 days. I've had a past metaphysical background, but even newcomers to this material will really benefit. Thanks again." ~ J.S. (Pennsylvania, USA)
"The collection is everything which you promised. And more! A superb contribution to the good of the world. Many thanks indeed." ~ R.P. (Georgia, USA)
"Just a short note of thanks for the library. I've only had membership for several days now but I already feel this is perhaps the most interesting compilation I have yet seen. Worth far more than the price of admission. The browser linked structure works well and makes it easy to manage such a large storehouse of information. It is rarely that I find something I like as much as this or that I feel strongly enough to write a note like this." ~ P.W. (Minnesota, USA)
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd