Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Listen to understand
Think about the last serious conversation you had with an employee. How much did you listen verses talk? How did you listen? Listening sounds easy, but it can actually be very challenging. Pure listening means you are both hearing and processing what the talker is saying. This can’t happen if you are thinking of a response, coming up with ideas, wondering how this applies to you or talking over someone. Most of the time people are not listening when someone else talks. The ‘listener’ is trying to solve the problem or think about what s/he will say next.
When I first heard this, I didn’t believe it. I thought I was a good listener, but I was wrong. Luckily, listening is a skill that can be taught. First, you have to realize what is holding you back from truly listening. For me, I was thinking of ways to solve the person’s problem. Secondly, you need to figure out a way to overcome your reason for not listening. My solve was to take notes on things that I could come back to later. Such a simple step significantly helped me to become a better listener.
What does listening mean to you? When have you had a conversation where someone actually listened to you? How did you feel? How can you be a better listener? What are some things you can do to improve your ability to listen?
For more information about career coaching go to www.katekibler.com