Active listening in the workplace

Postdate: 18 April 2017

Good communication increases the productivity, motivation and overall work atmosphere. One of the most important forms of communication is really listening to colleagues: this creates healthy relationships on the work floor.

Body language
Listing starts with body language. An active posture can say more than a 1000 words. It shows you are interested and that you respect your colleagues. Look at your colleagues while there are speaking, and turn towards them. When someone is talking it is best not to interrupt that person. You can only understand what someone says when you listen actively and wait to respond after he or she is done talking. Active listening includes observing, paying attention to the story and less to your own thoughts. Ask questions to clarify things. This shows that you have listened actively. More important: do not look at your screen to check your email or messages while someone is talking.

'From listening comes wisdom and from speaking repentance'

Sincere attention
Most people find it important to be heard. This is in contrast with the habit of most people, namely to move conversation topics towards yourself or to finish sentences. Maybe you recognize it yourself or with others. You literally wait for your turn, but it is fatal for a good conversation. When this happens, try not to immediately respond from your own judgement or experience. Be curious and let someone calmly talk. It also causes the other to have more interest in you. By asking questions you can figure out where your interests are. As a result you learn more about the other, which creates a sincere dialogue. This can be useful for every relationship.

Sometimes a short silence can be good to let the other talk more. Eventually you can only create trust and openness by communicating face-to-face, making listening a priority and by staying clear, friendly and polite.

active listening     attention     body language     communication     work floor    

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