We recently read this great post from Renee Safrata and thought it was so relevant that we needed to share it….

Renee specializes in renovating teams and that always begins with learning to better communicate. Meaning, becoming a better listener.

What type of listener are you? Read on to find out!

One of The Seven Highly Effective Habits by Stephen Covey is to “seek first to understand, then be understood”. Therefore, the key to understanding is effective listening, which is part of being an effective communicator.

What type of listener are you?

  • Do you get easily distracted in meetings?
  • Are you quick to pick up on facts and figures but not on how they relate to the situation at hand?
  • Have you perfected the slight nod of the head and plastic smile that shows you’re listening, but really you’re thinking about your golf game from the weekend?

Being an effective listener requires paying attention to what people are saying. It means being helpful and genuinely wanting to understand where the speaker is coming from and what they’re trying to say.

If you’re someone who’s quick to say YES or SURE or GOTCHA to anything the boss says to you, does that make you an effective listener? While it certainly acknowledges that you heard them say something to you, it says nothing about whether you understood what they asked you to do.

Active and effective listening requires work on your part – “So what I heard you ask me was to ……”. This statement acknowledges that you heard what they said and gives them the opportunity to either agree or correct you. Perhaps they need to learn how to communicate with you better as well.

Of course, like perfecting your golf game, the only way to improve your listening skills is to practice, practice, practice.

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I highly recommend that you take a few minutes to check out Renee’s blog for practical tips on effective listening, because becoming a better communicator starts with becoming a better listener!