Before we start to elaborate on this let’s remember what Stephen Covey had to say in his best seller book “6 habits of highly effective people”. Stephen Covey suggested that the process of listening should not be carried out with the intention of replying it should rather be carried out with the intention of understanding.
Since listening is an integral part of both our personal and professional lives let’s take a look into the significance of the listening process and then to the pre-requisites of effective listening.
The significance of the listening process
· Avoids Misunderstanding
Listening can help avoid misunderstanding. Unless and until you listen properly chances are that you would not be able to understand the communication in its true essence and risk misunderstanding the message.
Therefore, if you wish to avoid misunderstanding too make sure you listen effectively.
· Communication Break Down
Lack of listening skills can also lead to communication breakdown. Therefore, if you too wish to avoid any such unpleasant situation make sure you listen properly.
· Losing Relationship/Business
When individuals/businesses fail to listen properly they run the risk of losing relationship/business as lack of listening leads to lack of understanding, break down of communication and finally to losing of relationship/business.
· Boost Relationship/Customer Satisfaction
People feel good when they feel they are listened to and understood which in turn leads to greater satisfaction. Therefore, if you also wish to boost your personal and professional relationships make sure you are a good listener.
The Pre-Requisites of an Effective Listening Process
While listening make sure you
- Listen uninterrupted
- Prepare yourself for listening with an open mind
- Put the speaker at ease by assuring that you are willing to listen and understand
- Focus solely on what is being said
- Free yourself of any pre-conceived notions, opinions and prejudices
- Maintain impartiality
- Be patient
- Look for changes in pitch, volume and tone of the speaker
- Try to link all bits and pieces of information being communicated to you
- Avoid the temptation to interrupt