Updated: Dec 29, 2019
If there is one skill I would like to be recognised for it is listening. But as with everything, there is always room to improve and I aim to practice every day.
It is a skill I value most in others and I try to emulate those who I believe listen most effectively. It’s also a skill I look for when interviewing although, of course, this is when I need to be listening too.
So why is listening important to me?
Well, there are several reasons but my top five are:
To show a real interest in others
To enjoy the company of others
To learn something new
Go gain information
One of the things I enjoy most about accountancy is the chance to meet so many different people from different backgrounds with a variety of ideas and priorities.
If there is one communication skill you should aim to master then listening is it!
There are, however, daily barriers to listening. We all lead busy lives, are distracted, and often have a firmly held opinion that prevents us truly hearing what another is saying
Can you really hold your hand up and say that you are always open to another point of view?
Are you sure yours is the only route?
My 7 Top Tips
Concentrate on the person with whom you are conversing
Make sure you evidence your appreciation of the individual’s comments through active listening. For example, repeat back what is said, clarify your understanding, ask questions
Remain focussed. Do not be distracted by “noise” (e.g. Your phone, colleagues and friends)
Keep the flow going - if you want to follow up a point, make a mental note and pick up on it later in the conversation
Remember that listening involves far more than your ears - does your body language and tone convey the intended message?
Allow thinking time - silence is a powerful communication skill
Be open minded and aware of your own embedded opinions
Find out more information here:
Implementing just one of these actions will help you improve your business skills. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!