LISTENING is an active process of receiving and responding to a spoken message through a form of communication. KREA believe that in order to change our thinking, mindset and heart, we must be an effective LISTENER. LISTENING is at the top of all the competencies to successfully manage communication in a leadership role.
The display of a model of communication and understanding the key elements of the communication process, it’s a start of being a good communicator. Being a good communicator starts with appreciating how complex communicating can be. Communication is not just sending information but sharing information in a planned way. The message is a tangible formulation of the thought or idea sent to the sender or receiver. The channel is the medium by which a message is sent, like a phone, text, email, this blog or a face to face conversation. The nature of effective communication is cyclical, in that a sender and receiver may exchange messages several times to achieve a mutual understanding.
Feedback is so important to determine whether the receiver correctly interpreted the message to avoid communication breakdown. Without feedback the communication cycle is incomplete. Effective communication involves both the transference and the mutual understanding of information.
Listening involves the skill of grasping both facts and feelings to interpret a message’s genuine meaning. Only then can the receiver provide the appropriate response. Listening requires attention, energy and skill. Although about 75% of effective communication is listening, most people spend only 30-40% of their time listening, which leads to many communication errors. Listening is a vital link in the communication process, shown in the model of communication. A good listener finds areas of interest, is flexible, works hard at listening and uses thought speed to mentally summarize. Good listening means shifting from thinking about self to empathizing with the other person.
TEN KEYS TO EFFECTIVE LISTENING
- Listen actively – Show interest, nod, ask questions, paraphrase what has been said
- Keep an open mind – for opportunities and new learning
- Resist distractions – Fights distractions, tolerates bad habits, knows how to concentrate
- Capitalize on the fact that thought is faster than speech – Challenges assumptions, listens between lines to tone of voice
- Seek understanding – Searches for common ground and new understanding
- Judge content, not delivery – Skips over delivery errors
- Hold one’s fire – Does not judge or respond until comprehension is complete
- Listen for ideas – Listens to central themes
- Working at listening – Works hard, shows active body state and eye contact
- Show respect – Learns to keep quiet and let the other person do most of the talking
Practice your listening by applying 2 keys of effective listening at home with a partner, husband, wife or a child, share your reactions from the receiver. Happy LISTENING