Active Listening Skills: The Importance of Staying Focused
Active listening has been identified by heads of companies and all supportive roles within organizations as the most critical collaborative skill for all employees. Critical listening will allow you to absorb information both verbally and through body communication from your client or internal partners. It is your first chance to gain credibility by understanding their concerns.
Fighting off the urge to blurt out answers to posed questions prior to hearing the entire issue is a traditional problem in most organizations. We tend to simply jump too quickly into problem resolution mode prior to understanding the subtleties of the problem or other critical factors. This can cause frustration and feelings of lack of partnership. How can we avoid these pitfalls?
Fight the urge to solve the problem by keeping quiet and allowing all of the subtleties of the issue to be identified. Repeating or reiterating your understanding of the success factors is critical to working collaboratively and putting your client at ease. “Just so that I understand, what I am hearing is that you are concerned about x and how this will impact you or the organization”.
This confirmation that you understand the issues will build trust and partnership knowing that you are both “singing off the same sheet or music”. Taking both critical mental and physical notes of the top 3-4 issues that need to be addressed will help you stay on track. All communications back to your constituents should include a summary of the problem for consistency. Ask for confirmation before proceeding with problem resolution mode. If not you may be heading towards a fix which may not be relevant or required.
Job-Lander can help. We can provide you with critical listening skills via practice and exercises that improve your skills. Click here to get started with our complimentary 30 minute consultation to put together a plan of attack.