Have you ever put Netflix on in the background while actually looking at your phone?
Let’s be honest, we all have. However, if you were to sit there and look at your phone while someone was talking to you, this would be considered rude, right?
Although we may not be on our phones, our minds are often elsewhere when someone else is talking to us.
Rather than taking in the information they are saying, we are instead worrying about the next project, the next meeting or even what’s for lunch.
This can cause large communication breakdowns and in business can be the difference between signing a new client and them leaving the meeting.
At James Hopkins Coaching, we teach our clients about the skill of active listening in business.
Active listening is a skill that few individuals have today. It allows you to focus entirely on what the other individual has to say and can bring with it several benefits.
One of the greatest benefits is that you’ll avoid any misunderstandings.
Business is already difficult enough with misunderstandings. However, when active listening you make sure you have fully understood the message the speaker was trying to point out.
An individual can tell when you’re actively listening to them. Though they may not show it, they can tell if you’re engaged in the conversation.
One way to show you’re actively listening is to paraphrase what the speaker is saying to clarify key points.
This will help to create a better quality conversation and will also ensure there are no misunderstandings during the process.
Another key benefit we find active listening has at James Hopkins Coaching is that it can help to build relationships.
Rather than listening so you can speak, you should listen to hear and understand the speaker.
By actively listening, you take into consideration what the person is saying as well as their emotions behind the message.
This helps to build trust with employees and clients, as well as loved ones in your personal life.
This trust will allow the speaker to be more honest with you as they’re aware they’re speaking to a sympathetic listener who wants to hear what they have to say.
At James Hopkins Coaching, we have also found that active listening can help to improve productivity.
This is particularly important in boring meetings where key information is passed amongst teams.
Rather than passively listening, actively listen to take in the information. A great way to do this is by asking additional questions to have other speakers emphasise particular points.
One of the greatest benefits we have seen at James Hopkins Coaching is that active listening can help to resolve conflict in the workplace.
During a conflict, neither party is looking for a solution. Instead, both are simply trying to get their point across.
By taking a step back and actively listening, you can take into consideration both perspectives which will help you to come to a better overall solution.
The more you practice the skill of active listening, the better you’ll become!