There was a show on television which highlighted the fact that humans respond to what they think they are going to hear without even listening to the question. They gave a series of questions. All of the participants in the surveyed failed at answering the questions, including me, the at home participant.
The problem was that we did not listen to what was being said and just responded because we thought we knew what was going to be asked.
As a professional business person especially in a managerial or supervisory position, one should develop effective listening skills this can also help with the creation of interpersonal relationships with employees.
Some things which managers and supervisors should avoid are:
Taking an attitude that the employee is not in a position to say or question anything
Making decisions or judgments about situations before the employees has said what has happened
Giving injection or feelings about a situation before gathering all the facts (whether this be through facial expressions or verbal)
Factors however, which can assist in the development and improvement of listening skills and can be used based on the seriousness of the situation are:
Stop whatever you are doing and give the person undivided attention
Ensure that they will be no interruptions by closing the office door or instructing someone to take your calls
Listen to what the person is saying as well as their tone of voice and body language (this will help determine if the person is nervous, excited, depressed etc.
If any relevant points occur to you, don’t say them immediately – it may be best to record them mentally, for use at an appropriate point.
You shouldn’t think about your own ideas while the other person is speaking because this can distract you from listening and you may miss an important point.
Try hard not interrupt the person while they are speaking.
After the person has finished speaking then feel free to question what you heard and make reference to points made
The mark of a good listener is the ability to hear what the person is actually saying and not just what one wants to hear.
I personally need to work on my listening skills.