Six Ways to Become a Better Listener
I was honored to present my “Chaos to Clarity” power communication presentation
to the great folks at Georgia Organics last month.
One area that sparked engagement with this group was on the topic of “Getting
Tuned In.” This part of the program is about knowing your audience and how
important it is to listen – really listen. When people do this effectively, it creates a
much richer communication experience, which ultimately brings better decision-
making and creates trust.
Several people spoke about how important it is “not to jump the gun” with
assumptions when other people are talking. Others agreed it would be good to “let
the other person finish” before they started speaking. Another participant talked
about the need to not be thinking of what he wanted to say, but to focus in on what
the other person was saying.
Through our discussion and sharing ideas, we came up with six ways to become a
better listener. Here they are:
1. Find a quiet place to minimize external noises
2. Take notes throughout the conversation
3. Remove assumptions about the person you are talking with or the topic
4. Avoid interrupting
5. Make eye contact to stay engaged and focused
6. Recap, summarize and restate what you’ve heard
Listening has become a lost art in today’s chaotic business environment, and it’s no
mystery as to why. We are constantly in a hurry, bombarded by distractions, and
we all have our own agendas and priorities.
But, if we remember the invaluable benefits great listening can bring – better
decision making and greater trust – then we certainly should practice the art of
becoming better listeners.
As I often say in my communication training programs with clients, “words matter.”
But so does good listening.
I hope these six tips identified by the good folks at Georgia Organics can help you
become a better listener.
I welcome your thoughts and comments.