Listening is not instinctive. Hearing on the other hand happens without effort. We hear sounds, voices, and music. Intentional listening is probably not as easy as you think. It requires something more than just showing up.
Things People Do
Many workplace professionals feel stressed. They grow weary and tired of the everyday grind. Work isn’t always easy, but when we understand more about how to help ourselves things can (and do) get better.
Communication is a funny thing. People and teams often believe that when miscommunication occurs it means that it is time for more communication.
What do people do?
Often, they start with providing more communication. More meetings, more phone calls, and more email. Unfortunately, this often doesn’t improve the problem, it adds to it. Effective communication makes more sense.
Intentional listening is effective. What are your listening habits?
Why is listening such a valued part of communication? We can start with the idea that it is the other side of speaking. Consider that theoretically, there is only one speaker at a time, while the number of people listening can be quite expansive. A positive ratio.
At least two important barriers exist for listening. One is, do we have the proper skill? The other is, are we willing to put in the effort?
Skill is important. Carefully decoding and interpreting messages faces numerous challenges. As people, we struggle with bias, stereotypes, filters, and so much more. The more we understand barriers the better we can become.
Effort is often where the magic happens. Although there isn’t really anything magical about it, raw effort and intention may be the key. It requires energy. The question is are you willing to put in the effort?
Hanging out at the meeting may feel like you are doing your part. Listening and contributing must be intentional.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.