Listen Up! Here’s a Great Skill You Can Use to Improve Your Business in Every Aspect
It isn’t unusual for business owners, supervisors, and managers to hear the people around them, without actually listening to them. It is typical for managers to gather the ‘big picture’ when they hear out their subordinates or employees.
But by merely working on listening skills, they could be better equipped to handle the daily workings of their company with a far better hold on perspective. Listening correctly can lead to business growth and a vast improvement in many areas of its systems and operations.
Listening vs. Hearing
There exists a vast difference between hearing and listening. While hearing is a term best used to describe when one gives someone enough attention to get the gist of what they are communicating, it is called hearing. Most of the time, in business environments, this isn’t enough. Active listening is a different skill, and it requires your undivided attention. Listening further requires a good understanding of context. This is important to see whether the source is providing information from the context of expertise or whether there are ulterior motives, for example. Another essential element of listening happens to be evaluation. This is the skill of being impartial and evaluating what you have heard.
Improve Your Listening Skills
Here are some great tips to help you improve your business by improving your listening skills. Try working on them one step at a time!
If you know that you will be meeting with an employee to discuss something, do it in a distraction-free environment. This means not speaking in your office if you know it is always busy or that your phone is going to ring and interrupt. Don’t allow other staff to interrupt you. Make sure you get the complete message.
When you have a whole lot of work lined up, it is only natural for you to be losing focus. But make sure you pay conscious attention to what the employee is saying . Do not let your thoughts wander around to the next item on your to-do list. Of course, you have to do everything you can to focus on what they’re telling you. After all, you should evaluate your dialogue afterward, and you can’t evaluate something you haven’t even listened to.
You may have made the efforts to avoid outside distractions for your interaction with your employees. But it does not help if you go ahead and become the interruption. Interrupting your employees during their communication is a habit you should break. Doing this will help you become a good listener. Not only will employees appreciate your attention and allowing them to get to their point, but you can also focus better without preparing your next response.
Gather the Points
Speaking to the point is essential. It will help you recognize the points when someone is communicating something to you. Even the most skilled communicators may bounce from point to point when speaking, but a good listener needs to learn how to extract the main points from interaction and sort them out into a comprehendible sequence. It can also help to repeat the points to the person you are speaking to gain clarification.
Speakers and listeners often have different agendas, so you must get the right picture. After your engagement, it can help a great deal if you write down the points and the date and time so that you can reflect on them in the future and address them without having to rack your memory. Otherwise, you may hurry to your next task and then later realize you can’t remember most of what you had heard, even if you were concentrating at the time.
Proper listening is a real skill that you can develop as a supervisor or manager to greatly improve the operations of your business or the company you work for. Proper listening helps prevent conflicts of interest and helps shed light on what employees find essential and what they don’t. It might surprise you to see the things you learn about your company by just listening to your employees. Listening is the easiest way to solve all the problems in the world, and this is your company, after all. So, why not give it a shot!
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