Almost every employer looks for candidates with good presentation, communication and negotiation skills. But what many fail to realise is that good listening skills, also plays a major part in your road to success.
Fact #1: It is impossible to be a good communicator without good listening skills.
Active listening goes beyond just hearing. It is about comprehension. You cannot communicate if you fail to understand what the other party is saying. If you cannot listen, you will fail to identify problems and present suitable solutions, or remember important facts or bits of information that will help you advance in your career.
Fact #2: Active listening needs to be applied all around
This skill should not be applied to a select few only, such as your boss and clients. It should be applied in every setting, to anyone and any occasion. Firstly, there is nothing more infuriating or rude then when someone is talking to another who shows no interest in what is being communicated. Second, practice makes perfect – skills like these are not something with an on and off switch. And last but not least, people notice when you listen to only a certain group. This makes you come across as an opportunist and someone insincere.
Fact #3: It will open doors that benefit you
Developing good listening skills helps one earn the respect of clients, colleagues and superiors, as it displays good character and commitment. It gives the impression of not just professionalism, but someone who really cares about what they do. By cultivating the ability to listen well, it allows you to speak with clarity and reap the benefits of improved productivity, increased acceptance as well as the potential to be promoted in the future.
It’s not hard to become an active listener. The next time you feel the urge to interrupt, pause for a moment and simply let the speaker finish. If you must interrupt, make sure that you do so because you have a question and are trying to understand a point the speaker is making, rather than interjecting with your own opinion. Landing that major project or getting the promotion you want will not happen overnight, but a confirmed and almost immediate benefit of being an active listener, is a much more conducive and pleasant working environment.