Have you ever been in conversation with someone while:
According to sound and listening expert, Julian Treasure, we listen through filters which are as unique as our fingerprints. These filters are developed throughout our lives and are influenced by language, culture, values, experiences and emotions. It is these filters which help determine what we choose to listen to, how we listen and then how we interpret the information we receive.
There is a huge difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is an ability, either directly through our ears or through devices to enhance sound, whereas listening is a skill that also requires complex brain processing. Listening is, without doubt, an extremely important business skill. Listening is key to effective working relationships among employees and between management and staff. The ability to not only listen, but to listen consciously and actively is essential to working successfully in different groups and teams. Well-developed listening skills impact interactions within businesses as well as external relationships with customers and suppliers.
There are four key reasons:
However, when we take charge of our listening and practice it, like we would exercising a muscle, we can significantly improve our listening abilities which can, in turn, impact every aspect of our lives both inside and outside work.
Try these 5 Practical Steps to enhance your ability to listen when in conversation:
I challenge you to practice these and see what a difference they make – here’s a handy little infographic to help you!