Skip to content

March 5, 2017

Reduce Barriers to Listening

One of your most valuable skills for professional success is listening. This skill affects many aspects of your job, including productivity, teamwork, and customer service. Despite the importance of being a good listener, barriers pose challenges to effective communication. Here are three common barriers you may encounter.

  1. One of the biggest barriers to listening is your tendency to talk more than you listen! It takes self-control to keep quiet and focus on what the other person is saying as they say it. It helps to take notes, especially if you’re afraid you will forget what the person said. Resist the tendency to interrupt them or plan your response while they are speaking. When you do speak, be brief, focus on the topic of the conversation, and avoid unrelated or unresponsive comments.
  2. Listening is harder when you are distracted. Make good eye contact with the speaker and face them. Watch their gestures and facial expressions to determine if they are in sync with what they are saying. Body language often communicates more than words! If the environment is noisy, suggest moving to a quieter location.
  3. Assuming you understand the speaker is dangerous. Conflict often arises from misunderstood and misinterpreted communication. Always ask the speaker to provide more detail or clarify anything you don’t understand. Use open questions that let the speaker delve more deeply into the topic. Confirm understanding by repeating what you thought was said until the speaker indicates agreement.

Career success requires you to develop effective listening skills, so start listening more than you speak to improve business relationships and be more productive. For more information, see my blog post Shhh! Listen!

Read more from Uncategorized

Comments are closed.