Can we take a minute to talk about how great listening is for communication skills?
The benefits of effective listening are innumerable. And although it is sometimes overshadowed by its flashier contemporaries Speaking and Presenting, Listening has more to offer than we often realize.
Listening is preparing for, reaching, and confirming understanding. You'll always need that – there’s no situation that doesn’t benefit from effective listening. And though it seems content to remain that loveable, yet fey workhorse behind the scenes, Listening does take effort and action.
There are specific behaviors that can be practiced (or practiced more often) to improve listening and communication skills. A lot of them are about removing obstacles (internal and external barriers) to effective listening – and engagement in these behaviors is possible for everyone.
But before we take things any further, we first have to have that conversation: “Where are we” with Listening? And where are we “going”? We have to take a self-assessment.
HRDQ developed Learning to Listen – a soft skills assessment and training program – around a three-part, skill-based model for effective listening:
- Staying Focused
- Capturing the Message
- Helping the Speaker
Learning to recognize behaviors that contribute to these three goals is the first step to improved listening skills. By building this model around skills and behaviors, Learning to Listen sets out specific, actionable tasks that can be put in motion immediately. Why wait? You already know that you and Listening make a great team – let’s make this happen.