Do you know why God has given us two ears and one mouth? So that we speak less and listen more. Active listening is one such essential activity that everybody should practice. You always need to respect the speaker and that is only possible with the active listening.
Here in this article, you will get the difference between hearing and listening. The skill of comprehending the information and taking the meaning out of it is called active listening. Let us understand in detail what active listening is, what are the benefits of active listening, and what are the characteristics of active listening.
What Is Active Listening?
The act of mindful hearing and trying to comprehend what you hear before you reply or respond to a query is called active listening. It is an important business communication skill that is required at your workplace. What is attentive listening in the workplace? If you are focused and concentrate on what is happening around you, you will be able to make wise decisions and speak wisely. As it is said a good speaker is someone who has always been a good listener.
The ultimate goal of active listening is to acquire as much information as you can is to comprehend and understand people before you start responding to a situation. Even if you lack the ability to be an active listener, it is a skill that you can inculcate anytime you want to.
Characteristics of Active Listening
It is certain that active listening takes a lot of efforts to be physically and mentally present in the moment. Some of the cognitive characteristics of active listening is probing, paraphrasing, and summarizing what you heard. Ask questions to get in-depth of the situation and gain more clarity on the topic you are discussing. This also helps in building resilience in the speaker.
Bing attentive focusing on what somebody is saying is also the main characteristics of effective listening. Not just listening but accepting what others say and empathize whenever it is required is also important for active listening.
Non-verbal behavior shows that you are actively listening are eye contact, nodding, erect posture or affirming what you are listening is also a part of active listening. A positive body language shows your engagement and makes the listening part more effective.
Don’t just hear, listen to obtain information, listen to understand the gravity of the discussion, listen for enjoyment or listen to learn the most out of a conversation. Don't think of plotting a rebuttal during a conversation. Avoid being distracted by eliminating other environmental factors.
Allow the speaker to finish before you diverge and become judgmental. Be candid and honest while you are responding to a query. Being patient is again one of the main characteristics of active listening.
Benefits of Active Listening
Active listening has a lot of benefits but they are a few flaws as well. Let us figure out and talk about the benefits of active listening.
Active listening allows the speaker to vent off his feelings. Active listening defuses conflict and helps you to understand and comprehend the discussion better.
· Another benefit of active listening is that the listener stays focused on the conversation.
· Active listening is important to build a good relation, rapport, and the greatest of the trust between the listener and the speaker.
· Active listening fosters the collaboration of trust that is very important for problem-solving together. Discussing together is highly important before putting things into action.
· In case of emergencies or crises, Active listening is very important to comprehend the sensitive information with accuracy and calm the situation.
· Active listening helps you build self-esteem and confidence as you walk with health and positive relations in life.
· Active listening minimizes the change of misunderstanding, errors, mistakes, or communication gap and builds a strong conversation.
Active Listening Doesn’t Include
· Flash the speaker
· Pretend to pay attention
· Being stuck in your own thoughts
· Ignoring what’s not clear
· Asking irrelevant details
Active Listening at Workplace
Being an active listener in the workplace is very important to succeed in your professional growth. You and your employees, colleagues, acquaintances, can comprehend each other’s organizational requirements and help them meet their goals. These are the benefits of active listening in the workplace.
It is very important to build trust and dignity in the workplace. To achieve this, we need to lend an ear whenever needed and stay non-judgmental all the times. Being honest and supportive is all it takes to gain trust.
A group of active listeners at the workplace can exchange and brainstorm quality inputs to enhance productivity and boost your business. Many a time, delivering constructive feedback enhance productivity as communication flows from both the directions.
Active listening makes you more knowledgeable. If you speak less and listen more, you gain more clarity on the proceedings. This boost of confidence helps you dwell the feeling of self-empowerment.
Clear communication with colleagues helps in strong team-building and rich understanding resulting better outcomes in the business.
When customers are heard in the first go and their queries are answered to their satisfaction, you win that customer. He would always spread a word of fame for your organization. Active listening plays a big role in winning hearts.
This article was a clear insight into what is active listening and also explored the benefits of active listening. Now that you know the characteristics of active listening, it is not difficult to inculcate the practices to become an active listener.