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10 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Listening (and Networking) Skills

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https://www.inc.com/matthew-jones/10-simple-steps-to-highly-effective-listening.html

inc.com

10 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Listening (and Networking) Skills
Most of us move through each day engaging in conversations with friends, co-workers, and family members. But the majority of the time, we aren't listening. We're often distracted by things in our environment--both external things like televisions, cell phones, cars, and other people talking, and internal things like our own thoughts and feelings.

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How To Be An Active Listener

  1. Ignore internal and external distractions (thoughts and sounds).
  2. Listen to the content of their speech and their specific wording
  3. Listen to ...

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Selective Listening

Means to focus on a few key words and ignore the rest of someone's communication. 

It often manifests as one gets distracted by external stimuli like random sounds or movemen...

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Active Listening

Means to fully concentrate on what is being said rather than passively absorbing it

It's not just remembering the content of what was said, but using empathy and seeking to u...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Effective communication

... is imperative for every successful business. Poor communication inevitably causes misunderstandings, confusion and conflicts that hinder productivity and professi...

Effective Communication is vital in business

  • It helps to create effective brand messaging.  It determines how your brand is perceived and also builds trust with customers.
  • Customer service relies on good communication. "60% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand due to a poor customer service experience."  Microsoft’s 2016 Global State of Customer Service Report.
  • It enables positive team relationships.  Effective communication helps to unite teams and create a safe environment to express themselves.
  • It helps to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. It can help to defuse a potentially explosive dispute while bad communication can set it off.

Worst Communication Mistakes

  1. Using a One-Size-Fits-All Communication Approach. Tailor the communication style to the intended audience.
  2. Speaking More and Listening Less. Listen to what is said, how it is said, and to what is not said.
  3. Assuming Instead of Asking More Questions.
  4. Using Negative Tone. Choose words carefully to eliminate negative reactions.
  5. Avoiding Difficult Conversations.

  6. Reacting, Not Responding.

  7. Not Keeping an Open Mind. Accept and respect differences, listen without judgment and consider all sides of an issue.

Active listening

Is a technique for developing our ability to listen, to make a conscious effort to understand what people are really saying.

As a communication technique, it is used in many prof...

Core components of Active Listening

  • Comprehending: To communicate, we must first understand what the other person (or people) are actually saying.
  • Retaining: To respond in an appropriate manner, we must understand and retain what the other person has said.
  • Responding: An active response should show that we understand what the other person has said, have paid attention to their words and also read their non-verbal cues.

Improving Active Listening skills

  • Educate yourself on common cognitive biases and shortcuts;
  • Avoid trying to respond immediately. Allow the other person time to finish speaking, then provide a considered response;
  • Minimize conversational narcissism by keeping track of your use of pronouns(I, me);
  • Seek to develop a clear picture of the other person’s logic;

"It's important to make the individual you are speaking with feel heard and understood. If you're not engaged in t..."

Julie Holmes - life coach

Technology And Conversations

Your environment affects your personal relationships. Technologies like social media are making conversations harder and less engaging. But getting rid of it isn't necessarily the cure-all for most of our social interactions.

 If you have you've been feeling disconnected you can develop your conversational skills if you persist.

Become An Active Listener

Be engaged and listen to what they are saying. Show interest, ask questions and clarifications. This shows others that you care about what they are saying, and about them in the bigger picture.

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