Five Simple Tips to Boost Your Own Communication Skills
“Business people need to listen at least as much as they need to talk.
Too many people fail to realize that real communication goes in both directions.”
-Lee Iacocca, former president and CEO of Chrysler Corporation
You’re sitting in a meeting, and it’s just like all the others.
No one is really listening to anyone else. It seems like people are spending more energy figuring out the next right thing to say than on listening to what is already being said. Or maybe they aren’t even listening; they are too busy with their internal to-do lists or mentally rehashing the argument with a colleague from an hour ago.
There’s a lot of talking and tasks getting assigned, but real communication, innovation, and trust isn’t happening.
Research agrees with your observations at this meeting; a 2014 study shows that the average listener only uses 25% of their listening capacity.
How does this impact the workplace? A lack of active listening threatens communication. Without effective communication, workplaces lose productivity, interpersonal trust, and innovation.
Active listening and communication are at the heart of a strong and thriving team that feels motivated and inspired to perform.
So what can you do to ensure that your team is feeling heard? These tips will help effectively practice active listening and boost the communication and motivation of your team.
Five Simple Tips to Practice Active Listening
1. Minimize Distractions.
Setting the context for active listening is just as important as using the skills themselves. The next time you plan on having an important conversation, secure a quiet location, in a time when you won’t likely be rushed or distracted. Turn off your phone or computer alerts, close your screens, and ensure that you won’t be interrupted by anyone else. Take a deep breath, and prepare to use the following skills.