Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Listening on the Job

Raising kids, especially two active boys, has made me revisit the importance of listening. I can't stand it when I am talking to them and I can see on their faces that they simply aren't listening. (Shout out to my parents here because I am quite certain they experienced this with me!). On the stage listening to the other actors is vital to the creation of a robust performance. Actors and musicians hone their listening skills to help them polish their craft. I am willing to bet that most people working in other professions take listening for granted, which is really a shame because it is an imperative skill to perfect.

Have you ever dealt with a bad listener? I had a boss once who didn't listen to a word I said in the three years I work for him. He was as bad a listener as my 2 year old. It didn't even have to be work related either. When we were sitting around talking about baseball I could tell that he was looking right through me. He'd talk right over me and anything he had to say was more important or relevant than what I was saying at the time.

On the job, listening is a must. If you are a new employee one of the most important things you can do is make sure that the people talking to you know you are listening to them. You can't succeed without it. So how do you do that?

It helps to take a fresh look at yourself as a listener and remind yourself of the finer points of the skill. To help you out I've found a link that you might find useful.

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