Listen And Think Before You Speak

by Oct 1, 2020

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: communication is key! Today we’re focusing on ways to improve your communication skills at work, making your conversations more effective and better avoiding conflict. Being mindful is also a necessary component in achieving these goals; make sure you’re present in the moment so that you are truly listening and comprehending your bosses and colleagues. Give what you’re saying some thought before saying it, too. To use another old saying, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Aim to be precise and clear in your language, and you’ll be able to complete any task more quickly, with fewer mistakes. The tips we’re highlighting below will help you to do all of the above.


We love this suggestion from the pros at Fremont CollegeDon’t just hear – listen. Listening is an important communication skill that many people do not possess. Most conflict is a result of poor listening. In order to share information with another person, you have to hear what is being communicated. If you’re thinking about your next meeting or planning tonight’s dinner during the conversation, you’re not paying attention. To learn how to listen well, paraphrase what was said to show that you are listening and to verify accuracy. This will reduce the likelihood of conflict and will help you become a more effective communicator. Another way to learn how to listen better is to pretend there is going to be a quiz at the end of the discussion. Try to keep a mental checklist of all of the important points the person makes.” Conversations are a two way street. To engage in effective communication with your employers and co-workers, make sure you’re listening–and actively listening. This will require you to be a participant in exchanges in a way that doesn’t center your own thoughts. Instead, by actively listening, you’ll be able to achieve true collaboration, which will demonstrate your value as a team member to anyone you talk to. Keep an open mind to the opportunities each conversation offers up, and make sure to stay in the present.


Alison Doyle at Balance Careers also offers up a stellar method for ensuring that you’re fully understood in any workplace interaction: “Clarity and Concision. Good verbal communication means saying just enough—don’t talk too much or too little. Try to convey your message in as few words as possible. Say what you want clearly and directly, whether you’re speaking to someone in person, on the phone, or via email. If you ramble on, your listener will either tune you out or will be unsure of exactly what you want. Tip: Think about what you want to say before you say it. This will help you to avoid talking excessively or confusing your audience.” While it may initially seem counterintuitive to show off how much you know by NOT talking a lot, being able to sum up your stance both clearly and concisely will actually best demonstrate your mastery of a skillset, relaying to your listener that not only do you know what you’re talking about but you understand it well enough to succinctly sum it up. Thinking about what you say before you say it will also help minimize workplace conflicts that could arise due to simple misunderstandings. Planning out what to say ahead of time will also allow you to get your ideas across more quickly, a crucial skill during any workplace emergencies or time-sensitive matters that may arise.


Be an active participant in all your workplace exchanges by actively listening, making sure that you truly understand what it is that is being asked of you before attempting to do it. This will help you get all of your work tasks completed correctly on the first try! Listening actively also demonstrates respect for your colleagues and bosses, allowing them to see that you truly value their input and contributions to your organization. Apply this same thoughtfulness and consideration to your own utterances as well, making sure to be mindful of the context in which you’re speaking so that you can express yourself as clearly and concisely as possible. Doing so will help convey your sense of urgency to everyone around you in your workplace. Join us again tomorrow as we close out the week with even more inspiration for communicating clearly with both co-workers and employers.


Image retrieved from Pixabay under the public domain.

This posting is brought to you by Contemporaries Inc., one of the best temp agencies in Boston MA. Also available for payrolling employees in Boston and Greater Boston

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