We are introducing to you ACTIVE LISTENING, a direct-to-heart strategy for instant and long-term networking.
Social Media is full of courses and blogs on the importance of communication skills. However, what about listening skills? You might find out that listening to itself is an art as necessary if not more important than providing feedback.
Are you preparing for a job interview/promotion? Are you getting ready to meet a new person or future partner/client? Enhance and communicate your value thought, becoming a PRO at active listening.
WHAT IS ACTIVE LISTENING?
Active listening is a soft skill, also known as people skills. It is a practice that involves paying attention to the conversation with no interruption. As well as, making an effort to understand the speaker, and respond thoughtfully.
WHY IS IT USEFUL?
Active listeners benefit from their skills on many levels. Let’s dive in:
Shift focus towards the speaker
This technique can help build trust and decrease your nervousness during an interview or difficult conversation.
Improves Communication Skills
Active listening allows you to create the space to process your answer and the information received. It will make you better at initiating and maintaining conversations while decreasing the risk of miscommunication.
Ensure long-lasting relationships both at work and in your personal life.
Grow your self-esteem and indirectly communicate confidence. This skill will make the people around you want to listen and look forward to your opinion.
Negotiation & Solutions
You will become faster at problem-solving and better at establishing collaborations. Grasping the information and shaping feedback to the receiver is crucial no matter the typology of the partnership.
HOW TO BECOME AN ACTIVE LISTENER?
Nope. It is not enough to listen. Create memorable conversations by combining active listening hacks with communication skills. These abilities to adapt will help you integrate into any community. For example, it will teach you some ways to integrate into a new workplace.
Use nonverbal cues to communicate interest, respect, and understanding. Additionally, maintaining eye contact 60 – 77% of the conversation time will keep receivers engaged and boost confidence. This also applies when you lean forward or position your feet towards the speaker.
- Overly nod with your head. You do not want to create a desperate approval impression.
- Cross your arms (unless in extreme weather conditions). This body posture is sending a defensive and uninterested signal to the speaker.
Ask open-ended or specific questions!
With these questions, you will show interest and encourage the speaker to keep talking while fully paying attention. Your goal is to get to a deeper level in the conversation and transmit safety and comfort.
It is a huge turn off to see someone levitating in another dimension while you try to transmit a message. Avoid distractions. This can be hard if the meeting is outdoors. In this case you can ask the right questions and ensure that you are active listening no matter the environment.
An ideal situation would be to have the conversation in a quiet room or space.
NOTE: If the meeting is professional or of a sensitive topic, turn off your phone. Any why not, activate the airplane mode so new notifications won’t distract you.
Do Not Interrupt
This is a critical factor that can grant you respect or, when neglected, can lead your relationship to failure.
Firstly, take mental notes on what your comments are. Secondly, address them later when you are sure they have finished.
You will notice that once you have let the other person speak without interruption, they will follow your etiquette norm and do the same.
Disclaimer: In cases where you need to interrupt the speaker, remain polite and honest. Fro example, use similar disrupting formulas: „I’m sorry to interrupt, however, it is really important to mention that… ”).
This does not mean that you can not disagree or constructively criticize. Do not impose or express harsh and subjective opinions in a conversation. Especially with someone you try to enclose a partnership/relationship/long-term collaboration.
Remember to practice active listening as often as you can. Even though developing this skill might take a while initially, it will bring you closer to your goals when mastered.
Here is a juicy article that will teach you everything about the mistakes to avoid in a job interview and why not whenever you need to hold a self-presentation.
| Day Worker Team
Anna Lúcia Korcsog & DINA CRAVCENCO
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