This article will highlight the top 8 ways or guidelines for developing effective listening skills for small business owners, seniors, subordinates in a business and those who want to become successful business leaders.
Communication is important to keep any relationship loving and strong in our lives. In business, communication holds the key to success. Effective communications not only helps a business in building up a great market reputation, but it also helps it to win more clients and friends.
Further, communication helps small as well as MNC’s to strengthen relationships between workers and managers, sellers and customers, subordinates and seniors etc
If the effective communication is absent in a business, it will not be able to create a strong and loyal customer base, there may arise conflicts, mismanagement, losses, slow production etc that in turn, affects its profits.
Most people have the perception that communication skills involve speaking and conversations, ignoring the importance of listening skills. Without listening part, communication is incomplete.
What happens when you or your employees do not carefully listen to customers? What happens when you or your managers do not listen to employees? Obviously, sales get down, employees get demotivated which in turn affects their productivity and thus profits fall.
Now, we believe you got the importance of communication skills and listening skills in your business. As a small business owner or as a working professional in a multinational corporation who want to become business leaders but at the same time lack effective listening skills and want to know how to develop your listening skills, here are top 8 ways or methods which would help you to improve your listening skills:
1. Pay Concentration
To improve your listening skills, the first thing on which you should work on is to pay close attention to the speaker(whether he or she is an employee or your boss in a meeting). Motivate yourself to listen attentively to that person as research has shown that more a person is motivated to listen, more he is receptive.
2. Prepare Yourself
Sometimes, it is better for you to prepare yourself on a topic that is perceived to be difficult. Your preparation will let you gain some interest in the topic which in turn will help you to grasp what the speaker is saying whether in a meeting or any other business event.
3. Show Interest
Show that you want to listen by being and looking attentive. It is very important not only to focus on the message of the speaker, but you should also use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, head nods and smiles etc that in turn will make the speaker feel that he is being listened.
4. Listen to the Whole Message
To receive the complete message of the speaker, you must not only hear through your ears but also through other senses. Pay close attention to voice intensity, inflection, emotional cues, body movements of the speaker.
5. Show Empathy
While listening to a speaker, just empathize with him. This simply means put yourself in the speaker’s shoes. This tick will help you to better understand what the speaker is trying to say rather than only what you want to understand.
6. Listen Before Evaluating
One of the valuable aid to listening is to listen to what the speaker says without drawing premature conclusions. These premature conclusions just hamper effective listening. Just listen with patience to what the speaker has to say.
7. Note Taking
Note taking is a wonderful technique to improve your efficacy of the listing process. Taking notes not only enhances your attentiveness but also helps in recording what is being conveyed by the speaker.
8. Body Language
As a listener, you should maintain a positive body language like as upright posture, eye contact with the speaker etc