The Art of Listening - [website] Email Print
Published: 30th of Jul 2021 by: Staff Writer

A huge part of the soft skills we train, is communication. And quite often we find that there is one element of communication that is very much neglected or completely forgotten... Listening!

There is more to effective communication than just what we say... Listening is key.

Given the fast paced, stress filled world in which we find ourselves, the art of listening has become one of the biggest casualties. We simply don't seem to have time to focus, process what is being said to us and paraphrase in order to ensure clarity.

We hear the first couple of words and decide whether or not it's worth our while to pay attention based solely on absorbing these few words. Whether it's a colleague or a customer, we jump from hearing to acting in a split second. After all, we've heard it all before anyway, haven't we?

This behaviour is read instinctively, if not overtly, by the person who's trying to give us the information and it precipitates two possible reactions. One, they simply stop talking and close down, long before you have the pertinent information - thereby wasting their time and yours. Or two, they become argumentative and belligerent to the point of aggression because they are sick and tired of no one actually listening to what they have to say.

Listening is the bedrock of good, effective communication. It's not a skill many of us possess because we're often unaware of how bad we've become in this area of our lives. It happens at home as much as it happens at work - with equally time consuming and conflict eliciting results.

So how can we train ourselves in the art of listening? Well, firstly, take it seriously and be mindful of how you participate in conversations. Are you an active listener who fully engages through asking questions, reading body language and paying the other person the compliment of giving them your full focus?

Or, are you someone who barely hears the rest of the conversation once you've jumped to your own conclusions?

Our communication courses centre around understanding the need to develop good listening habits. We help you identify where you fit on this spectrum, and provide tools to assist you in your quest to becoming someone who listens so others will speak.

We highly recommend our Communication Excellence workshop. For more information on this course, please email us at for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660

Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.

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