Being a better listener

In honor of Presidents’ Day we are going to look at President Abraham Lincoln. President Lincoln had superior listening skills. To be a successful leader in any age you need to be a good listener and know the importance of effective communication. Right or wrong, people want to be heard. As Dale Carnegie said, “if you want to be a good conversationalist, be a good listener. To be interesting, be interested.” It is for that reason that Dale Carnegie was such a fan of President Lincoln. In fact he wrote a biography on the president called “Lincoln the Unknown” which uncovered the president’s e

xtraordinary and effective communication skills.

Think about your own communications skills and how you can improve upon your listening skills in the workplace. Every workplace has its fair share of characters. No matter the corporate strategy, everyone has their own priorities. To get anyone to do anything you need to appeal to their own motives. If we had a time machine and could ask President Lincoln he probably would say that the situations aren’t so different from challenges he faced.

Know the Importance of Communication. Here Are 5 Tips on How to Improve Your Listening Skills:

1. Be Sensitive to Body Language – Sometimes what is being said is more important than what comes out of someone’s mouth. It is important to be aware of the non-verbal cues that people exhibit.

2. Be Patient – Let the other person talk and let them finish. Stay on the subject and try to directly address the conversation.

3. Ask Questions – Make sure that you clarify any questions that you might have. Not only will it help you better understand the individual, but it confirms to the individual that you are actively listening.

4. Don’t Assume Anything – When in doubt, ask. Reduce confusion and missed communication. Get the other person talking. You will find out more about them!

5. Give Them Your Attention – Make sure you are really listening. Remove all distractions and give the individual your undivided attention. It shows the individual a level of respect.

Which of these tips would you consider to be the most effective?  Lets us know in the comments section.

Click here to download a Free Assessment on Communicating with Diplomacy and Tact

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