The second hallmark of effective communication is the ability to listen – really listen. In earlier posts you would have heard me bang on about the importance of listening when meeting and discussing issues with clients and pitching for new business.
I found an excellent list of barriers to effective listening and strategies to promote better listening.
Barriers to effective listening
There are many reasons as to why individuals fail to listen successfully, These include:
- Faking attention and tuning out
- Becoming emotional
- Jumping to conclusions
- Getting distracted
- Pre-judging the subject
- Gathering only facts
- Inflexibility while listening
- Avoiding complicated subjects
Strategies to promote better listening
You can improve your listening skills by following some of the strategies mentioned below:
- Maintain eye contact with the speaker.
- Provide clues that you are actively involved in listening.
- Focus on content, not delivery
- Avoid emotional involvement
- Avoid distractions
- Refrain from formulating an immediate response
- Use the gap between the rate of speech.
- Be willing to accept revisions
- Choose the right environment
- Stay active by asking questions for yourself
I remember my dad saying to me years ago … “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a very good reason … make sure you use them in the that ratio” It took me some time to work out that meant you should listen twice as much as you talk! Admittedly I was quite young at the time 🙂
Until next time.