You subconsciously know when people actively listen to you. They give you their full attention, and you feel respected. On such occasions, you easily get your message across because others don’t just hear you, they understand your words. If they aren’t sure what you’ve said, they ask for clarification. As such, there’s no misunderstanding, and you don’t have to repeat yourself needlessly further down the line.
Active listening involves paying attention to spoken words, noticing the tone and speed of words spoken, and recognizing the body language accompanying what’s said verbally. Passive listening is inferior, low-grade communication. It occurs when people are only partially attentive to what’s said. As a result, they listen selectively, honing in on data they expect to hear and missing vital elements of a conversation.
When people employ passive listening in business, they are likely to be less productive than they might have been had they focused during communication. Data gets misconstrued, confusion arises, and the subtle underlying, unspoken communication heard by the individual speaking is that they are being undermined. Consequently, opportunities to forge excellent working relationships are missed.
Here are some tips on how to listen effectively to improve workplace performance:
To engage in active listening, it’s necessary to drop distractions. If your mind’s on another activity, you’ll fail to hear what’s said. Distractions also stem from the thoughts in your head. If you’re upset, you can’t focus on communicating well. As such, you need to be receptive.