Listen Twice As Much As You Speak

by Mar 9, 2021

Today we’re continuing our conversation about communication with this key piece of advice: “Listen twice as much as you speak.” Doing this will allow you to learn as much as possible from those around you, keeping yourself open to every opportunity while also creating a mutual sense of respect amongst your fellow employees. And the best kind of listening is active listening: a skill that involves completely focusing on a speaker, fully processing what it is they have to say, understanding it, then responding helpfully. We’ve collected tips from the pros to ensure you’re able to do just that.


For our first trick, we’re turning CEO Elle Kaplan. While her thoughts on the power of active listening in workplace settings may be directed at business leaders, there’s plenty you can learn from her, too. After all, you should be thinking and acting like a leader in your professional environment! Kaplan provides this important tip to active listening: “Resist the urge to think about what to say next. You’ll draw better conclusions after the other person has finished speaking. It takes time to truly understand someone’s meaning — what’s behind the words. Those who you work with will take notice, and you’ll soon have their sincere and valuable trust.” Building up that real trust is an invaluable component of forging a genuine workplace community, one that allows everyone to feel and do their best. Take initiative in creating that community by actively listening to both your bosses and colleagues. This will also help you to better strengthen your mindfulness practices, allowing you to remain present in the here and now rather than getting caught up in worrying about the past or future. 


The experts at Indeed offer up both a tip and an example of the above advice in action: “Ask open-ended questions. Ask questions that show you’ve gathered the essence of what they’ve shared, and guides them into sharing additional information. Make sure these questions cannot be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Example: ‘You’re right—the onboarding procedure could use some updating. What changes would you want to make to the process over the next six months?’” Asking questions also shows that you care and are committed to producing stellar work that more than meets your organization’s needs, in addition to allowing you to be aware of how your efforts fit into the big picture at your company. This truly allows you to play an active role in seeking out your own opportunities for growth rather than passively allowing educational experiences along your career path to come your way. Make sure that you’re not just listening, and not only actively listening, but also creating space for conversations that can contribute to your overall workplace community


So don’t just passively “hear” those around you–actively listen! Make yourself indispensable to any professional environment by displaying genuine care and attention through your active listening skills. Communication is key. And listening is a key component of communicating! Remember that asking open-ended follow up questions is a great way to demonstrate that you’ve been listening. And that you’ve been learning. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert right off the bat. Every skill takes practice. And we know you can do it! Join us again tomorrow for our Wednesday Wellness: Communication edition to help guide you become an even better workplace communicator with a midweek mood boost.


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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