The Power of Active Listening

Work colleagues actively listen during a meeting

A key part of our communication skills training is to practice our delegates ability to actively listen to one another. And for good reason, too.

For the most part, we humans aren’t great at listening to one another. Sure, we’ll listen and we’ll most likely pick up the gist of what we’re being told, but we’re too easily distracted – by our environment, by another conversation, even by our own thoughts. In fact, research from the University of Minnesota shows we only really remember up to half of what we hear.

Active listening, however, is a powerful communication technique that requires a person to concentrate solely on the person speaking in an effort to process, understand, and retain everything that is being said so that you can respond effectively. When’s the last time you can truly say you listened to someone with that level of focus and attention?

In the world of business, the difference between how we usually listen and actively listening can be the difference between closing a deal or just missing out. Think about it – what if a key piece of information isn’t picked up on because you weren’t concentrating properly, or you misconstrue what the other person has said?

By actively listening to a prospective customer or client, we can start to build a relationships and level of trust with more ease, by quickly establishing rapport. This means we can better understand what it is they need from us, allowing your level of service to improve measurably.

And it’s not just limited to the workplace – actively listening to your friends, family or partner will only help to strengthen those relationships.

We’re big advocates of active listening. It’s too important of a skill to not use to your advantage, both in your work and personal life. For more information on active listening, or ways to improve your communication in general, then feel free to get in touch, or visit our communication skills training page to learn more about the course.