Why Listening is an Important Communication Skill
Listening is an ability to receive and interpret information. It is one of the crucial soft skills to communicate seamlessly. When you don’t develop effective listening skills, there are chances of misunderstanding a message.
So, if you are someone looking to master communication skills, aim at refining and fine-tuning your listening skills. This lays the foundation for any effective communication. Read ahead for more!
What are Listening Skills?
Listening is a skill where you receive and understand a piece of information before you respond. People with good listening skills can effectively comprehend a message and offer the appropriate response.
Importance of Listening Skills in Communication
Good listening skills help you grasp the requirements and needs of your boss, client, consumer, colleague or any other stakeholder. Let’s dig deeper and understand all the benefits it offers you.
1. Reduces Misunderstandings
Poor listening skills always result in misunderstandings because instead of listening, you end up assuming things. So, when someone is communicating with you, try to actively listen to what is being said. Once the conversation is done, you can put forward your questions, doubts or any ideas you may have.
2. Builds Empathy
When you actively listen, you tend to mirror the emotions the speakers convey and portray. For instance, if your speaker is emoting sadness, you don’t steer the conversation into something cheerful, you empathise with them.
Empathy is essential in a conversation as it builds relationships and strengthens the bond. And you can only invoke empathy by listening to the speaker with the necessary concentration and energy.
3. Limits Judgements
When you actively listen to an individual and concentrate on what is being said, you tend to reserve judgement because your complete focus is on the conversation. Hence, you can comprehend their point of view before jumping to conclusions.
4. Improves Business Relationships
If you are working in a consumer-centric field or work as a team lead, strong listening skills help strengthen business relationships. This is because you understand the needs and requirements of the individual. It helps you fulfil the requirements and helps strengthen the bond.
5. Increases Productivity
Listening is one such skill that holds utmost importance in both your personal and professional life. Good listeners can thoroughly understand things. For instance, let’s say you are part of a group project. Maybe you are bursting with innovative ideas. However, before you put your thoughts forward, first listen to what everyone else has to say.
Taking their ideas into consideration, along with yours, you shape the project into a positive outcome.
6. Enhances Leadership Skills
When you display your active listening skills, you make your team feel heard. You discover new ideas from the team and also help avoid any miscommunication. When you hear and acknowledge people and their thoughts, they feel respected and valued.
7. Providing Feedback
Let’s say you are listening to a presentation of your team member. Ensuring you provide the right feedback at the end is only possible when you properly listen to what is being said.
How to Improve Your Listening Skills in Communication?
Here are the tips that can help improve your listening skills.
Always Maintain Eye Contact
A fine trick that ensures the speaker feels like you are listening and is encouraged to speak freely is when you maintain eye contact. When someone is talking to you, don’t look here and there, it distracts the speakers. Always give them undivided attention.
Try To Visualize the Details
An easy method to keep your concentration on and fully understand what the speaker is trying to convey is to visualise the details. It also helps you retain information better.
When someone is speaking to you, don’t let your judgement cloud the conversation. Instead, patiently listen to what is being said and try to understand their perspective.
Never interrupt someone when they are in the middle of a conversation. Instead, wait till there is an opening to speak or wait for the conversation to conclude.
Let’s take an example here. A team member is talking about ideas for a new project. When they reach halfway through the conversation, you have suggestions you feel can improve the idea. But interrupting the person will disrupt the flow of the conversation and the speaker may also miss out on some other important information that could have aided the outcome.
Ask Questions to Understand Better
When you ask clarifying questions, you not only keep the conversation on the topic but it also helps you understand the topic better.
Join a Course
A course can help you develop the nitty-gritty of listening skills. At iSkillBox, we bring you one of the best courses to boost your listening skills taught by an award-winning trainer. The course will introduce you to all the elements of listening and help you understand effective responses.
Register today to master active listening!
What is Time Management: Skills, Importance, Benefits, Tools, and Strategies
Why Listening is an Important Communication Skill
Why Entrepreneurship Skills Are Important
What are Different Types of Business Communication?
Why Listening Skills are Important in the Workplace