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Effective Listening

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Effective Listening

We all know that what we say can have a lasting impression on the person hearing it, but do we also know that, how we listen can also leave a lasting impression? It is not likely that we ever think that the way we listen is affecting the person talking, but it is true. If we stop to think about it, we can all think of a time when our feelings were hurt, or we’ve been embarrassed because the person we were talking to made it blatantly obvious, they were not interested in what we were talking about. How often do we do this to other people who are talking to us? I’m sure that, unintentionally, we have all made someone else feel the exact same way. As managers, it is important to be a good listener, and to be cautious of the way you are making your employees feel. Being an effective manager requires you to have good listening skills. It is important to be aware of the consequences that can result due to your listening actions.

Results of Our Listening Skills

The way you listen to another person can often have an adverse affect on the person doing the talking if you are not effectively listening. According to the article A Manager’s Guide to Effective Listening, “ineffective listening is painful and carries with it the net result of damaging our relationships with others and our business.” (Boyle, 1999). Results of ineffective listening are:

Ð'* Feeling misunderstood

Ð'* Frustration and anger

Ð'* Depression

Ð'* Lowered motivation and initiative

Ð'* Lowered productivity

Ð'* Lowered compliance

Ð'* The employee / customer looking elsewhere to be listened to

You must be aware at all times of your non-verbal behavior, and what it is saying to the person doing the talking. This article offered many good to help you become a better listener: Stop what you are doing and shift your focus. Be aware of your body language and be relaxed and open. Focus your attention on the person talking without being distracted. Paraphrase and restate what the person has said. Be tentative. And the last piece of advice by the author was his very own principle, The Boyle principle of listening, “When in doubt, shut up and listen further.” (Boyle, 1999).

When you have put forth the effort



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