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Tool #9: Active Listening Employee Success Toolkit Copyright Harriet Meyerson 2008
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Successful Communication is a Two-Way Street Good communication skills are the keys to success in your business and personal life. When someone speaks to you, your job is to listen and create a dialogue. You must listen with understanding as your goal, not winning or being right.
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, “Listening is the art of truly hearing what a person is trying to say, not just what is said. The best listeners are people that hear the words and see the body language so they capture the whole message.” Anne Warfield, author of the book, Communication More Effectively
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Be an Active Listener We think 7 times faster than we speak. So..when we are listening, there is plenty of time for our minds to wander. Hearing is not the same as listening. Hearing is merely using your ears to acknowledge sounds. Listening means understanding the other person’s point of view. You’re processing information based on your own experiences, while listening to someone who is talking based on their experiences.
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Results of Inattentive Listening Mistakes Misunderstandings Poor customer service Wasted time
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Give Your Full Attention to the Speaker Lean forward. Look directly at the other person. Nod your head. Make appropriate comments. Tilt your head slightly to one side while you listen.
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Active Listening and Effective Speaking Elements are the Same Words Tone of Voice Pitch Pace Eye Contact Body Position Gestures Facial Expression
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Words Is the message clear and concise? What are the words alone trying to say?
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Tone The tone of voice reflects the person’s emotional state. Does it sound hostile or nervous, or does it sound friendly, relaxed and sincere? Does it match the meaning of the words? When there are mixed messages, the tone of voice reflects the true meaning. of Voice
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Pitch A lower pitch voice signifies confidence. A high pitched voice can be a sign of: Nervousness Fear Anxiety
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Pace PPeople vary in the speed of their speech. TTry to match the other person’s pace. TThe other person will feel more comfortable and connected.
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Eye Contact Good eye contact: Signifies honesty and confidence Shows respect Makes others feel important Creates positive relationship Avoiding eye contact can make you seem: Sneaky Guilty Bashful Frightened
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, How to Have Good Eye Contact Position yourself at the same eye level as the other person. Look away from time to time in a relaxed, comfortable manner. Don’t: Stare Squint Blink your eyes rapidly
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Body Language Body language amounts to a 55% impact on the message you are trying to communicate. Without body language, conversations would be boring and less effective. If a person’s body language and words don’t match, you may be getting mixed messages.
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, How You Can Have Good Body Position Stand or sit at an angle toward the other person. Standing side by side may disconnect you from your partner. Standing directly face to face may seem confrontational. Stand or sit at the same eye level. Use good posture, as it reflects your confidence.
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Gestures Pay attention to the gestures of the speaker. Gesturing with your hands adds life and meaning to your message. When not gesturing: Don’t cross your arms. Don’t play with your clothing, jewelry or pencils. Simply let your arms be relaxed at your sides.
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Facial Expression You can learn a lot by observing a person’s facial expression. Tension can be seen through a tight lipped mouth. Rolling eyes and disapproving looks reflect negative thoughts. When a face lights up, it creates positive energy.
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Are You Listening? To be sure you understand what you are hearing: Repeat back what you heard. Say, “I think what you said was…” Ask, “Help me understand…” Continual practice of active listening skills will help you succeed at work and in your personal life.
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Active Listening Quiz & Discussion Questions
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Question 1 What is the best body position to assume when speaking to another person?
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Question 2 Why is the pace of someone’s speaking so important?
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Question 3 How can you know the gestures you use are effective?
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Question 4 How can you determine how well you listen?
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Question 5 Name 3 aspects of active listening.
Active Listening © Harriet Meyerson, Set Your Goals What are your three main goals for active listening?
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