Each person has two ears and one mouth. That should say something to us about the ratio between listening and speaking. Take a look at this segment from an interview by Dale Beaumont with Shane Toohey. Find out how to become a better listener, utilising both ears, knowing and understanding that this alone can have great impact on your business growth and success.
Shane created a business consultancy called Peak Teams. Together with his business partner, Ian Schubach, Shane developed a patent-pending technology that simulates adventure environments to create unique and powerful learning programs on leadership, teamwork and change. Peak Teams works with some of the biggest and best-known companies in the world.
What are some of the practical things one can do to become a better listener?
For most people today, the single biggest impediment to good listening is lack of time. People make themselves too busy to listen. So the first and most important step for becoming a better listener is to make some time and ask the question – what are the benefits of listening?
In business, listening is the best way to strengthen teamwork, create new ideas and improve customer service. When people listen in the workplace, staff morale goes up and productivity increases because people develop new skills to solve problems so much faster. To become a better listener in the workplace, you must plan to make time to talk to people. Plan to have your conversations in quiet places that are free from all the usual office distractions – phones, faxes, computers, coffee machines. And respect the other person; never answer your mobile phone or look at your watch when you are listening to people.
One other critical skill to improve listening at work is being open to the other person’s point of view. Do not interrupt other people before they finish speaking and seek to really understand what they are saying before you give your opinion.
At home, listening is the glue that holds families together. Without good listening, marriages break down and children grow apart from their parents, especially in the teenage years. Becoming a better listener at home involves many similarities to the workplace. Intent is very important, so commit to wanting to listen to your husband, wife or kids and demonstrate that you care by putting down the television remote control or the newspaper.
Remember above all else that listening is a gift, so give it freely and often.
For more of this interview and how to become a better listener check out “Secrets of Inspiring Leaders Exposed! “