Why Listening Skills are Important in the Workplace

Interpersonal Skills

iSkillBox Learning

Wed, 12-Oct-2022

“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So, if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.” — Larry King

Improved verbal communication is vital for seamless processes and effective team bonding at the workplace. When we say verbal communication, both speaking and listening practices take precedence. Actively listening is a conscious effort you undertake to comprehend and absorb what the other person is saying. It leads to innovative ideas and robust solutions. 

Moreover, the ability to listen and understand better also makes you a better communicator. Today, we will walk you through the importance of active listening skills and also help you out with a few easy tips. Keep on reading! 

What is active listening?

Active listening is more than just hearing the other person speak. It is more about trying to understand the purpose and the meaning behind the message the speaker is conveying. 

It only happens when you participate in the conversation. Practicing active listening keeps you engaged and leads to a positive outcome. Some of the tips you can utilise for active listening include;

  • Ensure you are completely involved in the conversation 

  • Take notice of both verbal and non-verbal cues 

  • Reflect on what is being said 

  • Steer clear of any judgement or advice

Why are listening skills important?

Some of the main reasons why listening skills matter are; 

  • Build trust 

  • Prevent any misunderstanding 

  • Induce empathy 

  • Improve relationships 

  • Enhance your productivity 

  • Elevate your leadership skills 

Why are listening skills important in a team?

Listening skills are a necessity in a workspace because they lead to better outcomes. Let’s take an example. You have an important project to handle as an in charge. Bringing an innovative take will not only put your team at the forefront but also ensure you shine as a good leader in front of the management.

You discuss the project requirements with your team. During the discussion, you are faced with some suggestions and ideas from your team. Seeming it as unnecessary, you don’t involve yourself in the conversation much and reject the ideas after briefly hearing those. 

Amidst all that, there was one idea, if you had engaged, could have taken the project to a whole new level. It had innovation and uniqueness. Alas! You never honed your listening skills and hence got stuck with mediocre work. 

It is a classic example of what happens when we choose not to listen. In all aspects of life, good listening skills are vital. Therefore, try to enhance your listening skills. 

How to improve listening skills

Now that you are well aware of all the reasons why you need listening skills, let’s take a look at some of the easy tips on how you can develop them. 

Be patient

Patience is an important skill to ensure you listen well. When you are short of patience, you tend to interrupt the speaker, try to put in your thoughts and more because you are looking for ways to end the conversation soon. 

So, the first step to sharpening your listening skills is to learn to be patient. When you are patient, you can focus and get involved in the conversation. 

Keep an open mind 

One of the main mistakes people make is to pass judgments or reach a conclusion halfway through the conversation, interrupting the speaker and gaining half the knowledge or information. This can lead to misconceptions or misunderstandings among the team affecting productivity. 

To avoid later complications, try to limit your criticism and hold your thoughts until the end of the conversation. Don’t let negative emotions or judgmental comments get in the way. Sometimes, you may end up realising that the points the speaker is trying to convey actually make sense in the end. 

Never interrupt 

You must have experienced this at least once. You are deep in a conversation and get interrupted in between. It not only disturbs the flow of the conversation, but you may also forget what you were about to say next. 

So, if someone is speaking to you, make sure you remain patient and let them complete whatever they have to say. Only then should you start speaking. This wholesome exchange of ideas and opinions always leads to positive outcomes. 

Give feedback while listening 

When you are talking to someone face-to-face, it feels like they are paying attention when they use gestures or verbal cues. Some examples are nodding your head or using affirmations such as okay, yes, or I understand. 

This shows the audience’s complete focus and understanding of what the speaker is saying and in turn boosts the speaker’s confidence to share more information or insights. In the same way, ensure you use verbal or non-verbal cues when you are listening to show your complete involvement.

Try to imagine what the speaker is saying 

Finally, to ensure you are hooked on every word, try to visualise the information you are hearing. It will help you stay fully focused and you will be able to concentrate for a long time. 

If you want to improve your listening skills, get help and guidance from the award-winning professional coach. Join our professional course to help yourself stand out in your workspace and grow effortlessly.