How to prioritize listening among your workforce

With the onslaught of messaging and other noise assailing us daily, it takes diligent effort to focus on what other people—colleagues and clients alike—have to say. Consider this advice.

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Listening at work

Listening is one of the most valuable skills an employee can cultivate.

Good listeners accept feedback and engage more meaningfully with colleagues and customers. A community that prioritizes listening over talking will inevitably grow stronger over time.

Why do so few businesses prioritize listening in the workplace? For one thing, media bombardment has overwhelmed most people, who simply tune out the incessant noise of commercials and telemarketers.

Because of this constant distraction, it requires diligence to move toward a mindset of active listening. For businesses especially, it’s well worth the effort.

When two people converse, good listening skills benefit them both. The listener (or employee) learns more information and feels more relaxed. The speaker (or client/consumer) has the comfort that comes with really being heard, even if there’s not full agreement.

Listening goes beyond sound; pay attention to the speaker’s body language. Hand movements and facial expressions convey extra information and provide context for the speaker’s statements.

With this comes using your own body language to communicate with customers.

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