When you need to really listen

By  via aspire-cs.com   Article

“We could all become better listeners. Most importantly, leaders must learn to really listen.

“Really listening means:

  • Waiting for other(s) to finish speaking before speaking
  • Keeping the focus of the conversation away from yourself
  • Asking open ended and non-judging questions that are relevant to the conversation
  • Giving advice sparingly, if at all
  • Noticing emotional cues in body language and voice tone
  • Listening with your whole body; turning toward the speaker, leaning in, making eye contact

You’ll know you’ve really listened when you hear:

  • Thank you for listening to me
  • Even when we disagree, I feel understood
  • You helped me to clarify my thoughts
  • I feel appreciated

It makes sense that that it’s most important for you to really listen when:

There are differing views: whether the decision is to be made by the team as a whole or you will be making a final decision that impacts your team, hearing them out is exactly what you need to do. Surface the elephants by listening and asking some open-ended questions, and the chances exist that decisions will be well thought out.

There are the same views: You’ll need to work harder here, and play the devil’s advocate or ask someone else to take on that role. If everyone’s view is the same from the get go, some may not feel comfortable offering a different opinion (learn to encourage those people!). …

Someone is emotional: Listening when someone is angry, fearful, or upset is the best thing you can do for them. At these times, they need to work out whatever is causing their distress by listening to themselves as you listen to them. Your tendency may be to try to solve their problem for them, which can shut them down. Instead, listen and ask them some questions that will help them to gain clarity (or better yet, ask them what they need from you!).”


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