You’ve probably been in a conversation with someone who was not really listening to you at all. Instead of listening to what you had to say, this person was obviously only biding his or her time until being able to speak again — perhaps even interrupting you from time to time. You know how unpleasant and annoying these conversations can be and how they make you feel, and you understand why it’s important not to make others feel the same way. Good listening skills are important for several reasons in many areas of your life, but they are critical for your career as well.
No matter what type of career you choose, you will have to listen to others, answer questions and communicate clearly. The foundation for any type of positive and quality communication is active listening. This means not just listening to what another person is saying but to actually try and hear him or her. Truly consider the individual’s needs and what he or she is asking of you and trying to tell you. In order to do this, you will have to engage with the other person, not just wait until he or she stops talking so you can speak again.
Make it a point not to interrupt people talking to you. When you have someone speaking, look that person in the eye and make sure he or she knows you are focused on what is being said. This will garner respect from others and make them feel important, and both of these things are critical aspects of succeeding in your professional career. When you listen well, you can answer well. Active listening allows you to truly understand the best way to answer, minimizing the chance of miscommunication and misunderstanding. How you listen can have a significant impact on how people perceive you and what they will think when it’s your time to talk. It could be an invaluable idea to consider whether you have good listening skills and how you can improve.
By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC