The Art of Active Listening

How well you listen to what others have to say will have an impact on your job effectiveness and the quality of relationships at work. If you can master this art you will be much better off.

  1. Begin by listening to the total message. What is the person trying to say?
  2. Use non verbal signals to show that you are listening and understanding. Ensuring that your focus is entirely on the person, you are nodding along, or even says “mhm” or “I understand.”
  3. Paraphrase what you think you heard. Affirm to the other person that you are following along and ask for confirmation that you are understanding it.
  4. Use open ended questions to continue the conversation. Focus on questions that start with what, why, and how.
  5. Do not jump in with your onion, especially if it is negative. This is also part of being politically savvy in the workplace. Despite being around your coworkers for at least 40 hours a week, they are still your coworkers. If you provide an opinion, it can always come back to you. Do you want to be known as the office gossip?

When has active listening helped you gain a better perspective on a person or a situation?