Communication skills cannot always be assumed and it is important to be an engaged, active listener in the workplace. This will not only help you optimise your job performance, it will also boost your workplace relationships.
1) When having a conversation with someone, take time to ask questions and allow them to finish what they have to say before jumping in.
2) Focus on the person speaking, notice their non-verbal cues such as body language and tone of voice.
3) It is considered disrespectful to talk over people or try to finish their sentences. It also indicates you don’t care about what the other person is saying.
4) Think about what you want to say before speaking but ensure that you are still paying attention to the other person.
5) Maintain eye contact. By looking at the other person in the eye you are showing that you are engaged. It will also assist you to stay focused on the conversation.
6) Examine your own body language, make sure you are standing up straight and nodding your head. These visual cues are important in providing feedback to the other person so they know you are listening and interested.
7) Reflect on what was just said and paraphrase it back to the speaker. This helps you to ensure you understand what is being said and the speaker sees that you are on the same page.
8) Remain neutral particularly if tempted to give an opinion. You should put your personal opinions aside in the workplace especially.
9) Active listening will help you recall information more accurately and also show the other person that you are paying attention.
10) Be patient with yourself and others. Give yourself time to think of a response. Don’t always feel tempted to answer right away.