Guidance for Effective Listening

Posted in Pencerahan by efendi arianto on July 5, 2007

Quoted from “Organizational Behavior, Human Behavior at Work”, by John W. Newstrom and Keith Davis

Stop talking!
– You cannot listen if you are talking.
– Polonius (Hamlet): “Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice”

Put the talker at ease.
– Help a person feel free to talk by making him or her comfortable.
– Create a permissive atmosphere by establishing rapport.

Show a talker that you want to listen.
– Look interested. Establish eye contact and give nonverbal responses.
– Act interested. Do not read your mail while someone talks.
– Listen to understand rather than to oppose.

Remove distractions.
– Don’t doodle, tap, or shuffle papers.
– Offer to shut the door.

Empathize with a talker.
– Try to see the other person’s point of view.
– “Connect” with the person by sharing a similar experience.

Be patient.
– Allow plenty of time. Do not interrupt a talker.
– Don’t start a door or walk away.

Hold your temper.
– Pause before you speak or response.
– An angry person takes the wrong meaning from words.

Go easy on argument and criticism.
– These approaches put a talker on a defensive, and she or he may “clam up” or become angry.
– Do not argue. Even if you win, you lose.

Ask relevant questions.
– Asking questions encourages a talker and shows that you are listening.
– It helps develop points further.

Stop talking!
– This guideline is both first and last, because all others depend on it.
– You cannot be an effective listener while you are talking.
– Nature gave people two ears but only one tongue, which is a gentle hint that they should listen more than they talk.
– Listening requires two ears, one for meaning and one for feeling.
– Decision makers who do not listen have less information for making sound decisions.


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