Guidance for Effective Listening
Quoted from “Organizational Behavior, Human Behavior at Work”, by John W. Newstrom and Keith Davis
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.