Active listening is something that we all think we do but how distracted are we day to day?
And do we tune out if it’s not quite what we want to hear?
In #hr one of the common responses that show up is defensiveness, especially when every suggestion from our stakeholders lands like a criticism or feels negative.
I know because I’ve done it!
Emotionally you feel you’re trying so hard and doing your best, and when a new suggestion flies in - instantly you think, what does this person know about HR??
Learning about our responses and how we show up can help us breakthrough this communication barrier and really serve both ourselves and our stakeholders better. And I’m ALL about feeling great and energetic at work every day!
So here’s my top tips for active listening:
Pay attention: Focus on the speaker and avoid any distractions while they are speaking.
Show interest: Use body language such as nodding or maintaining eye contact to show that you are engaged in the conversation.
Ask questions: Clarify any doubts or misunderstandings by asking the speaker to explain or elaborate on their points.
Paraphrase: Repeat what the speaker has said in your own words to ensure that you have understood their message correctly.
Avoid interrupting: Allow the speaker to finish their thoughts before responding or asking questions.
Be empathetic: Try to understand the speaker's perspective and feelings, and respond accordingly.
Avoid distractions: Turn off any electronic devices or eliminate other distractions that may hinder your ability to actively listen.
Be patient: Give the speaker time to express their thoughts and opinions fully, without rushing or cutting them off.
Practice mindfulness: Focus on being fully present in the moment and avoid letting your mind wander or get distracted.
Follow up: After the conversation, follow up with the speaker to show that you value their input and opinions.
It takes time and practice but it's a sure path towards getting the best out of a conversation or exchange for both you and your stakeholders.