How to Be A Good Listener
Being a good listener is often more important than speaking. It gives a deeper level of understanding and makes someone a valuable member of any team. Oftentimes we listen only partly and only allow some of what someone is conveying to go into our ear and our brain and stay there. Really good listeners have different habits and an ability to be mindful of where they are and who they’re talking to. Being fully aware in the moment allows you to be more likely to retain what you’re hearing. These individuals make those speaking to them feel as if they have an interest in what they have to stay.
These individuals make great leaders in the workplace. Here are common traits of good listeners that may help you or your team to hone in on these behaviors.
1. Empathy: Effective listening is partly the effort to empathize with the person someone is speaking with. Whether they can relate or not, compassion doesn’t go unnoticed. Even if you fail to get entirely what someone is saying, the person will see that you made an attempt, which strengthens a relationship, whether in personal life or in the workplace.
2. They have an open mind: This means that great listeners know that every conversation isn’t going to resolve an issue, but it allows them to be closer to
understanding to those that they communicate with regularly.
3. They understand they aren’t perfect: This means that they know they can’t pick up on everything everyone is saying all the time, but they try their best to allow themselves to be as present in the moment as possible.
4. They ask important questions: Asking appropriate follow-up questions helps draw out information. This is especially important as a leader (supervisor, manager or team lead) as it helps to resolve issues before they occur. People are who good listeners validate other people’s feelings.
5. They’re not defensive: They don’t get sensitive about feedback. Effective listeners don’t block out negative criticism, they just listen and develop understanding and adjust their behaviors accordingly for each situation. This is especially great in the workplace as it strengthens communications and minimizes conflict.
6. They’re okay with being uncomfortable: They embrace emotion and accept emotion when it comes to communication. This leads to better understanding and better relationships with those they converse with on a regular basis.
7. They’re good leaders: Strong leadership should include strong listening skills. Brilliant ideas can come from unlikely places, so keeping ears open may lead to greater success in the company. Good leaders are present in the workplace, listen to people, draw them out and get new ideas allowing you to learn from them.
Ultimately, good listening skills requires being in the moment, not on the computer or phone in the middle of a conversation. Good listening isn’t waiting to get a word in, it is giving a pause in a conversation. Good listening is attentive with good eye contact. It is not rushed, but asks good questions to guide the sharing process. A good listener cares, first and foremost. To hone in on listening and/or other issues you may have with your team, contact AdVenture Games Team Building today to customize a team building experience that
will improve on skills that are valuable to a successful team.