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Are you Really Listening?

In the fast paced world that we are living in, great communication can sometimes be left on the sidelines as we are screaming through the day to day that is life, often a victim of the modern world. The downside of this is that it can rear its ugly head in the form of frustration and complaints when the needs of the individual have not been met. Something to ask yourself, when you listen to a client’s needs, are you actually listening?

Have you thought about what type of listener you are on a daily basis?

Non-Listener

  • Preoccupied with own thoughts
  • Not paying attention

Passive Listener

  • Hear words but don’t absorb meaning
  • Provide vague answers
  • Only takes meaning from areas of interest
  • Differing views mean they cease to listen and simply provide their own ideas

Active Listener

  • Best listeners
  • Listens with patience and open mind
  • Completely focused on speaker

Active listening is a skill that is invaluable and can really help you with some of life’s little challenges when you have actually understood what the client wants.

Some steps that you could implement in active listening:

  • Commit to attention
  • Remove Distractions
  • Clear your mind of preconceived ideas & emotions
  • Give your time and focus on the client
  • Listen for  the message not  just  the words
  • Wait for the message to finish before formulating a response
  • Allow the speaker to communicate without interruption
  • Wait for the speaker to conclude before jumping in or responding
  • Acknowledge to the speaker that you’re paying attention
  • Confirm your interpretation of what was said
  • Allow the speaker to clarify
  • Ask questions  to identify further information
  • Repeat until you are satisfied  the message was amply conveyed and has been received

As a species we are highly social and the most valuable thing that you can give someone is your time.

The next time you are in a conversation with someone, really listen and you may be surprised with what you find.

Heidi Walkinshaw

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