Thursday, November 21, 2013

Improve Your Listening Skills To Achieve Success

Can you remember the last time you listened to someone else? We are not referring to the typical listening that each of us does, which is merely waiting to jump in with the next thought or preoccupying our minds until we can end the conversation. We mean really, truly listening: absorbing what another person is saying so you can receive the true and complete message. Admit it, it has been a while, hasn’t it? Real listening should not be the exception, it should be the rule.

Many people love to talk because it lets them convey their thoughts and feelings. But, talk that falls on deaf ears is not very satisfying. We want the other person to listen attentively without judgment or any motivation to do so. This establishes trust and does great things for self-confidence. It helps us to be more effective on a personal level. It can also help us be more successful in our careers.

Listening may seem simple but many people do not do it correctly. They only listen to a portion of what a speaker is saying, picking out the information that resonates on a personal level. The rest of the details are either not received or are filed into a virtual trash receptacle. This may alter or completely transform the message intended by the speaker, creating less than satisfactory results.

Employers often complain that their employees do not follow basic instructions. This may happen because the employees are not listening. By opening their ears, these employees could avoid having to redo their work and could increase the likelihood of personal recognition such as promotions. Real listening saves time, money, and effort while reducing frustration and stress. Begin practicing it today to experience immediate improvement in the work environment.

Being a good listener is a key to success. It begins with making eye contact, which is a sign of respect. Good listening often requires committing information to memory so if your brain is at maximum capacity, take written notes. These will help to refresh your memory and serve as a record of the conversation. After the other person makes a point, rephrase what was said in order to verify understanding and obtain clarification.

Incorporating these practices into daily workplace interactions can have an immediate effect. People will begin seeking you out for conversations and will value your input because it reflects attentive listening. Others will begin to take notice of your increased involvement in workplace teams and may follow suit by asking for assistance with high-level projects.

Business leaders often go out of their way to promote workers who have valuable skills. Listening may be the difference between a six figure income and a seat in a cubicle until retirement. There is always enough time to listen so stop making excuses. Perfect your listening skills to begin reaping the rewards that these bring. Encourage others to become good listeners and fill your team with these valuable individuals when you become a leader within the organization.  

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