Learning how to be a good listener

Learning how to be a good listener
Learning how to be a good listener

Learning to be a good listener is an essential part of excellent communication skills. Find out how you can improve your ability to really listen to your colleagues.

Learning how to be a good listener
Learning how to be a good listener

Effective communication is essential in the workplace and involves both listening and speaking. With much communication taking place virtually without the benefit of seeing someone in person, listening is more important than ever. Here’s more information on why being a good listener is important, how you can be a good listener, and how to show off your listening skills.

Why it’s important to be a good listener

In many positions, it is important to be a good listener. Whether someone works as an accountant, doctor or manager, they must listen to their colleagues and customers. Here are some of the benefits of being a good listener.

Good listening makes you a faster learner

Being a good listener is a very important part of learning fast. Paying attention during training can help you learn faster and perform better on assessments or skills tests. They are less likely to make mistakes or need a second or third explanation to learn the correct approach to a task.

Fast learners can pick up skills quickly and are more likely to take on new responsibilities or promotions as they gain experience. They are also more adaptable when business operations or technology change. During the training sessions, you can take notes and write down the topics you want to study in order to listen and learn faster.

Good listeners stand out at work

Good listeners and quick learners often excel at work. You can follow instructions to the letter and don’t have to ask as often as many other employees. The ability to learn quickly allows you to meet the demands of a new team. By listening with a keen, attentive ear, you can avoid confusing commands and instructions, saving your employer valuable time and money. Good listeners get more promotions and get along better with bosses, colleagues and clients.

Being a good listener helps you build relationships

Being a good listener and remembering what people are discussing with you can help you build strong, lasting relationships with them. For example, telling a co-worker to have fun at the beach instead of just wishing them a happy vacation shows them that you remember it when they discussed their vacation plans. Remembering customers’ names or their most frequent requests encourages them to return to a store.
How to be a good listener

If you’re not a very good listener, you can improve your listening skills by following these tips.

Face the speaker and make eye contact

Eye contact is an essential part of effective communication. Turning to the speaker and making eye contact shows you are listening. Make sure you and the speaker are at about the same height. If they’re sitting, sit with them, and if they’re standing, stand up too. Put away books, smartphones, computers and other potential distractions to demonstrate your full attention.

Relax while listening

While it’s a good idea to maintain eye contact, you should also avoid staring at a speaker. Look away from time to time and avoid appearing tense, bored or unhappy.

Pay attention to body language and other non-verbal cues

Nonverbal communication includes body movements, eye contact, posture, facial expressions, etc. Paying attention to nonverbal cues can improve your ability to connect and interact with people. It also allows you to more accurately interpret the true meaning of their words.

Let the speakers finish speaking without interruption

Interruptions can interrupt a person’s train of thought and divert a conversation from the topic. Some people may also consider it rude to interrupt someone. Before answering or asking questions, wait until a speaker has finished thinking and pause. If you end up talking about things unrelated to the original topic of the conversation, let your conversation partner know that you want to pick up where you left off. It shows that you care about the original topic and care about what the speaker is saying.

Ways to demonstrate your listening skills

Here are some ways you can show off your listening skills.

Paraphrase a speaker

When interviewing in person or over the phone, or when speaking to customers or managers, you can show them that you’re listening by paraphrasing their words from time to time. For example, waiters and waitresses often show guests that they can remember orders by repeating them. Paraphrasing also helps you avoid mistakes and follow instructions correctly the first time.

Ask questions

Asking smart questions can show people you’re listening and want to know more. It also allows you to discover related facts that the speaker may have missed. For example, if you ask what to bring to a company retreat, you and your colleagues can get important information.

Mention soft skills on your resume, including listening

Soft skills such as listening are just as important or even more important than technical or hard skills for many positions. Talk about your skills like listening, communication and teamwork. If possible, tell about a time when your listening skills benefited an employer. For example, you might mention that you’ve developed strong relationships with customers or learned a new skill quickly. Once you’re done writing, you can upload your resume to reach more employers.

Good listeners and quick learners are often management material. You can handle complex tasks and adapt quickly to changes. Learning to be a better listener can help you be more successful.

Learning how to be a good listener

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