👂How Well Do You Listen at Work?Jul 05, 2023
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐰𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐝𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧 𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤?
Unfortunately, most people do not listen at a very deep level. Listening is not passive, it is active, and the absence of active listening is common at work.
Judith Glaser, the author of 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦: 𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘎𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘓𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘉𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥 𝘛𝘳𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘎𝘦𝘵 𝘌𝘹𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘙𝘦𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘴, explains that leaders can create environments where people feel safe, connected, and ready for change simply by listening at a higher level.
According to Glaser, there are three main stages of listening.
𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧 𝐚𝐭 𝐋𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥 1, our awareness is on ourselves. We ask: What does this mean to me? We have a strong desire for answers, information, and details. Level 1 is the level most people listen at.
𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧 𝐚𝐭 𝐋𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥 2, our awareness is on the person. We listen for words, emotions, and expressions. Level 2 listening demonstrates you have time for the conversation.
𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧 𝐚𝐭 𝐥𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥 3, we demonstrate global listening. We’re in it together with the other person. We use our intuition to guide the conversation and monitor how the person or room changes in response to what we’re saying. Level 3 is the highest level of listening.
To improve your listening skills, or when coaching people on your team:
✔️Be present – make eye contact and mentally screen out background distractions.
✔️Keep an open mind – listen without judgment or jumping to conclusions.
✔️Paraphrase what you heard – and then ask clarifying questions to ensure understanding.
✔️Pay attention to what isn’t said – the nonverbal cues such as body language and tone of voice.
✔️Conclude with a summary statement – to ensure agreement and accurate follow-through.
When introducing organizational change, whether it’s a new digital tool, process, or team structure, leaders who listen actively to the needs and concerns of their teams can accelerate the internal process people must go through before they accept, then adopt and sustain the new ways of working that are required for a change to be a success.
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