Have you ever heard someone described as a really great listener? Being defined in this manner implies all sorts of positive attributes; Fairness. Maturity. Open to opinion.
There are so many reasons to emphasize the power of listening in the workplace. From developing future leaders to teaming skills – the art of listening is a much needed skill set. Many leadership experts feel you simply cannot excel in business today without this skill, and I agree fully. Listening can not only make you more likeable — listining can change the face of your career.
Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence, aptly calls this skill set “strategic listening”. No matter what your role or organizational purpose he is adamant that listening is critical. Listening is about respect. It is about making a commitment to others. It is about commitment to progress and change.
What you might gain from tweaking your listening skills:
- You’ll grow as a contributor. Learning to put your own thoughts aside for just a moment, will help you process new ideas. Overall, you’ll be in a better position to absorb more of the knowledge that is around you.
- You’ll be better positioned to handle problems. When challenge occurs – effective listening skills can help you to understand dissenting opinions and varying points of view. As a result, you’ll have a far greater chance of finding needed solutions.
- You’ll discover hidden potential. In many situations, your most effective team members may not be the most highly vocal. Hang back and let them know you value their opinions – they’ll be more likely to come forward and contribute.
We can all improve our listening skills. For now, hold back and let others complete their thought. Then reflect on what you have learned. It’s a great place to start.