In today’s world, listen is often an undervalued skill of managers and employees alike. In the same time, listening is becoming more and more difficult due to the increased amount of messages we receive in news & media.
The following are 3 key strategies that anyone can implement to listen more and show more empathy:
Recognize all verbal and non-verbal communication:
Besides anything that your counter part is verbally expressing, many more layers of communication will be present at any given moment in your conversation. Those can be for instance facial expressions, tone of voice or body language. Recognizing also those non-verbal emotional signs is important and will show your counter part that you feel empathy for him.
Process and confirm your understanding:
To actively listen, understanding of the message is one of the most important aspects. To help in this process simple techniques as for instance summarizing key points or validating key messages can help and facilitate a conversation even more.
Respond to your counter part:
To express your empathy and interest to your counter part’s message, responding to him is equally important as the first two strategies. Simple tools for instance are paraphrasing, clarification questions or acknowledgements.
“Slowing down, engaging with others rather than endlessly debating, taking the time to hear and learn from others, and asking brilliant questions are ultimately the keys to success.”
The above strategies are a summary of Harvard Business Review’s latest article on Active Listening by Christine M. Riordan.