Makin It Happen - Coaching, Mentoring & Stress Management

Makin It Happen - Coaching, Mentoring & Stress Management logo

phone: 01780 765270 email: Liz@makinithappen.co.uk

View Liz Makin's LinkedIn profile Follow Liz Makin on Twitter Makin It Happen on Facebook

Are You A Good Listener?

Most of us consider ourselves to be good listeners, but how often do we really listen to what other people are saying?

Poor listening skills can impact on your business and personal life leading to conflict, misunderstandings, relationship problems, losing customers and contracts, unhappy staff, increased costs and lower profitability.

What is good listening?

Listening is not just about hearing. It is when you truly understand the other person's point of view, what they are thinking, how they are feeling and how they see the world. Listening involves not only hearing, but also understanding what is said, giving feedback on what you have heard and using and interpreting the non-verbal aspects of communication i.e. vocal factors (pitch, tone and rhythm), eye contact, facial expressions, body postures and even silence.

What are the benefits of good listening?

When you display good listening skills the person you are listening to feels understood and valued and is more likely to be open and honest with you. By giving them the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings with you they can gain greater insight and make better choices. Good listening will result in better relationships, clearer communication and a happier and more successful business and personal life.

What are the barriers to good listening?

There are many barriers to listening including:
- You may have preconceptions or make assumptions about what the other person might say and should say.
- Your attention can be selective leading to bias in what you hear.
- You think faster than other people can talk and your attention can wander.
- You may be unable to ignore irrelevant information.
- The physical environment can contribute to poor listening e.g. other people's conversations and background distractions.
- You have not allowed enough time for the conversation.
- You may lack concentration because you are thinking of other things, planning what you want to say next or daydreaming.

What behaviours impede good listening?

As well as the barriers to listening above, you can interrupt your listening and the other person by:
- Interrupting when the other person is talking.
- Giving advice or offering solutions when the other person is talking.
- Using humour inappropriately.
- Reassuring or consoling the other person before they have finished speaking.
- Fidgeting or distracting the other person.
- Using emotionally laden language.

How can you improve your listening skills?

Here are some tips to help you improve your listening:
- Look interested in the other person and be alert.
- Concentrate on really listening to the other person, including what they are saying, how they are saying it and their body language.
- Minimise distractions.
- Be patient and do not interrupt
- Keep up with what the other person is saying and listen to the whole story.
- Allow the other person to be silent. They may be thinking or processing something internally.
- Provide clear feedback to show that you are listening e.g. nodding, agreeing and encouraging.
- Match the other person's body language, vocal factors, metaphors, use of language and emotional tone, so that they feel listened to, understood and appreciated.
- Try to understand what the person is actually saying, what they are thinking and what they are feeling.
- Use your intuition to try and understand what the other person is thinking and feeling but may not be actually saying.
- Do not be judgemental or opinionated.
- If you need to take notes ask first if this is okay and do it in a way that does not distract the other person.
- Analyse and reflect back what you have heard, by paraphrasing, repeating, asking open questions and clarifying.
- Summarise the key points of the conversation and ask the other person whether they agree with your summary.
- Notice if you are not properly listening so that you can quickly bring your attention back to the other person.

Author: Liz Makin
Published: June 2007

Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including communication, resilience, time management, stress management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.


Bookmark and Share

Please call Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk
to arrange a FREE consultation session
to discuss our business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services for business owners, directors, managers and professionals.

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE EMAIL
BUSINESS & STRESS MANAGEMENT TIPS
& ONLINE COURSE SPECIAL OFFERS

by clicking the button below:

SIGN UP NOW

ONLINE COMMUNICATION COURSES

Communication for business owners, directors & managers

Online course - Communication for business owners, directors & managers

Communication for life:how to be a better communicator

Online course - Communication for life: how to be a better communicator

ONLINE RESILIENCE COURSES

Resilience for business owners, directors & managers

Online course - Resilience for business owners, directors & managers

Resilience for life: how to be more resilient in life & work

Online course - Resilience for life: how to be more resilient in life & work

ONLINE STRESS MANAGEMENT COURSES

Stress management for business owners, directors & managers

Online course - Stress management for business owners, directors & managers

Stress management for life: how to reduce & manage stress

Online course - Stress management for life: how to reduce & manage stress

ONLINE TIME MANAGEMENT COURSES

Time management for business owners, directors & managers

Online course - Time management for business owners, directors & managers

Time management for life: how to take control of your time

Online course - Time management for life: how to take control of your time

ONLINE STRESS MANAGEMENT SUPPORT & COACHING COURSES

Help and support others at work to reduce & manage stress

Online course - Help & support others at work to reduce & manage stress

Stress management coaching: support your clients with stress

Online course - Stress management coaching: support your clients with stress

Please call Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk to arrange a FREE
consultation session

Business coaching
Business mentoring
Stress management
Help with stress
Business coach
Business mentor
View Liz Makin's LinkedIn profile Follow Liz Makin on Twitter Makin It Happen on Facebook
Website Links

Home

Online Courses

Coaching & Mentoring

Stress Management

Testimonials

Email Sign Up

Articles

Questions For You

Research

Free Consultation Session

About Us

Contact Us