Far too frequently problems occur in the workplace as a result of a lack of listening.

This lack of listening may involve an employee not listening to an employer, an employer not listening to an employee, or an employee not listening to one of their colleagues.

It is frustrating to experience the complex problems that result from a lack of listening. So much time, money and stress could be saved if people took the time to increase their self-awareness on this issue, and then to make any required changes.

Good listening takes practice, but is deceptively simple. Some techniques to assist your listening skills include: demonstrating that you are paying attention, by saying little and keeping eye contact; keeping focused on what is being said rather than concentrating on what you intend to say next; do not second guess what the person is saying in your mind, intently listen to each of their spoken words; once the person has finished speaking, ask if there is more they wish to say; once the person speaking has had the opportunity to completely finish what they wish to say, summarise what they have told you back to them, without emotion or judgement. Avoid interrupting while someone is speaking and do not finish their sentences for them.

Effective listening makes our work lives more productive and pleasant. Start 2014 by checking your self-awareness on this issue. Remember practice makes perfect.

If you have any employment or HR queries that you would like assistance with, please contact us directly.

This article is intended as a point of reference and should not be relied on as a substitute for professional advice. Specialist advice should always be sought in relation to any particular circumstances and no liability will be accepted for any losses incurred by those relying solely on this article.

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