How to be a Great Listener in Business
Great listening skills are critical for business success. It is an essential skill to have, especially for persons in management roles. Many people believe that effective communication only involves speaking eloquently. However, a major part of effective communication is listening.
It’s hard to really pay attention to what someone is saying, especially in this day and age of high-speed internet and technology. But a skilled listener pays attention to every little detail and not just the parts that require a response. Taking the time to genuinely listen means fewer errors, increased problem-solving, resolves conflicts, and reduces time wasted on getting tasks done.
Dr. Jordan Sudberg is the CEO and Medical Director of Spine and Sports Rehabilitation Pain Management. His many years in physical and neuromuscular medicine can be credited to being a brilliant listener. Dr. Sudberg sees patients who are sometimes experiencing excruciating pain. He has to listen keenly in order to provide the correct diagnosis and treatment. Business leaders or organizations that listen to constructive criticism from their employees and customers will always be successful.
Characteristics of a Good Listener
A good listener can learn from others and connect with anyone. Listening is not just about hearing what a speaker says, but actively taking part in the conversation. Using body language and asking questions are great ways to show
interest, build trust and gain understanding. Here are five characteristics of a good listener:
1. A good listener never interrupts. They are patient and wait until the end of a presentation to seek clarification. Constantly interrupting a speaker is not only frustrating but can cause them to lose their train of thought.
2. Effective listeners are 100% engaged in the conversation or presentation. Being present means no distractions and maintaining eye contact.
3. Listening means paying attention to everything and not just responding. Focusing on how to contribute to the discussion leads to misunderstandings and errors.
4. A successful doctor can only diagnose and treat a medical issue by asking relevant questions. Dr. Jordan Sudberg listens to his patients carefully and then asks follow-up questions in order to provide care.
5. A skilled listener is curious. They pay attention to what is being said and are eager to learn.
How to Be a Good Listener in Business
The first and most important step to becoming a good listener in business is having an open mind. Keeping an open mind means listening without jumping to conclusions or offering negative criticisms.
A successful business is one that is diverse and inclusive. It allows employees from all walks of life to come together and contribute to the growth of the organization.
Another important step to becoming a great listener is asking relevant and thought-provoking questions. Asking for more details or seeking clarification allows for greater understanding and effective decision-making.
A good business leader has empathy and takes into consideration the wants and needs of their employees and customers. A good listener puts himself in the shoes of the speaker and can feel all their emotions.
Lastly, a great listener pays attention to their body language. Facing the speaker, making eye contact, and leaning towards them shows interest in what is being said.
Becoming a skilled listener takes practice, but these tips will ensure that there is an atmosphere of trust in the organization.