Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Effective Listening in the Workplace

What is listening? And moreover, what is effective listening? Of course, we all listen carefully, making a mental note of every word and every syllable. If that's the case, stop! Right now, at this moment, as you are reading this, ask yourself an honest question, are you assimilating, what you are reading? Often we skip words, while listening or reading. To make this worse we listen with prejudices and biases. This, primarily, is what hampers effective listening. Effective listening is an important part of building trust and strengthening business relationship, which in turn are inevitable ingredients of building empires. Those with effective leadership traits, know the importance of effective listening in the workplace. Complete understanding of the term is what makes them successful entrepreneurs, mentors and leaders. Let's see what lies in the nitty-gritty of effective listening in the workplace.

Developing Effective Listening Skills

Conscious Decision
The first step towards being an effective listener, is to take a conscious decision to hear someone. Once you've decided to listen effectively, then there's no looking back.

Body Language
Body language is an integral part of everything you do. Hence, it plays a crucial role in making you an effective listener in the workplace. When the speaker addresses you, make a confident eye contact. Sit in a position that you are most comfortable in, so that you don't fidget. Changing your emotions, appropriately to react to the listener's story, is a real test of understanding the body effective listening in the workplace. Read more about workplace ethics.

Share is Caring
Back home, when parents try to advice kids, the advice is straight away trashed. But in a workplace, the opposite is most likely. Considering, the similar age brackets of co-workers, the troubles of the speaker may seem more realistic to you, which makes you responsible to advice or at least pep-talk your colleague. If you are a good boss, don't probe too much into the matter, as not all employees are comfortable talking to their bosses. Let them befriend each other, to share and care for one another. This will also help in building teams and raising team spirits.


The last, final and the best of effective listening techniques for effective listening in the workplace, is to connect with the speaker's problems. Striking a connection, means talking about the problem or trouble or reacting to a good news as though it's a part of your life. Giving listening a personalized touch will help you establish a trustworthy bond.

Effects of Effective Listening in the Workplace

Non-Verbal Communication
Effectively listening in the workplace is a form of non-verbal communication. Clich├ęd, as it may sound, silence speaks more than words. When you make a conscious decision to listen to somebody, you do it with full, undivided attention. Your complete attention and concentration, towards the speaker's subject, communicates your concern to the speaker. In this way, effectively listening in the workplace, serves as a non-verbal communication tool. Corporate organizations are demanding and challenging. Most of us cope up with the pressures, however, it is always a listening ear, that provides us with motivation, care and concern to carry on. Read more about employee motivation.

Intelligent Emotions
Developing effective listening in the workplace through effective listening activities, is a way of fortifying emotional intelligence at work. This works with the logic of 'a friend in need, is a friend indeed'. If your employees can establish strong relations with each other, it's going to benefit your organization. Those of you, who think that your employees may conspire if they mingle too much, then let me tell you, boss, you are wrong!! Hearing out one another, working together, sharing load, being a helping hand and walking the extra mile, will go a long way in making your organization successful. Read more on emotional intelligence.

There are many factors to effective listening strategies. However, focusing with clarity is the important of all. I hope these effects of effective listening in the workplace and effective listening techniques, help you in building a reliable workforce.

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