Hearing refers to the sounds that you hear, whereas listening requires more than that. The good habit of listening can really get you noticed in your career path and is a healthy habit for all your relationships. Remove all distractions and focus on what is been said.
Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process. In this article from the authors of the skillsyouneed.com, it is important to note that listening is key to all effective communication, without the ability to listen effectively messages are easily misunderstood – communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated or irritated. If there is one communication skill you should aim to master then listening is it. Listening is so important that many top employers provide listening skills training for their employees. This is not surprising when you consider that good listening skills can lead to: better customer satisfaction, greater productivity with fewer mistakes, increased sharing of information that in turn can lead to more creative and innovative work.
Effective listening is a skill that underpins all positive human relationships, spend some time thinking about and developing your listening skills – they are the building blocks of success.
Listening is NOT the same as hearing
Hearing refers to the sounds that you hear, whereas listening requires more than that: it requires focus.
A good listener will listen not only to what is being said, but also to what is left unsaid or only partially said. Effective listening involves observing body language and noticing inconsistencies between verbal and non-verbal messages.
Here are 3 listening habits that will help you in your career (and your relationships)
1. Stop talking
“If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, we would have two tongues and one ear.” Mark Twain.
Don't talk, listen. When somebody else is talking listen to what they are saying, do not interrupt, talk over them or finish their sentences for them. Stop, just listen. When the other person has finished talking you may need to clarify to ensure you have received their message accurately.
2. Prepare yourself to listen
Relax. Focus on the speaker. Put other things out of mind. The human mind is easily distracted by other thoughts – what’s for lunch, what time do I need to leave to catch my train, is it going to rain – try to put other thoughts out of mind and concentrate on the messages that are being communicated.
3. Put the speaker at ease
Help the speaker to feel free to speak. Remember their needs and concerns. Nod or use other gestures or words to encourage them to continue. Maintain eye contact but don’t stare – show you are listening and understanding what is being said.
Good listening skills will also have benefits in your personal lives, including: A greater number of friends and social networks, improved self-esteem and confidence, higher grades at school and in academic work and even better health and general well-being. Making an effort to be a better listener will assist you in becoming a better partner.
Having a poor listening habit could be negatively impacting your future or could even be a habit that is making you unproductive. Ask others to help you. Choose better, more productive success habits and develop a system that will help support them. Focus on making listening a better habit for the year. Find out other habits that are getting in the way of you achieving your goals for the year.