Active listening in the workplace

The current blogspot will be based on the question “what is active listening in the workplace?”. We will discuss the importance of active listening in workplace settings, the importance of active listening in the workplace and ways to enhance the active listening skills at workplace for employees.

What is active listening in the workplace?

Like various other scenarios and social settings, active listening is considered to be an effective and integral part of communication in the workplace. Active listening is a skill that is acquired through various strategies like keen observation, self-awareness, empathy, paying attention to minute details and understanding the concerns of other people. 

Active listening in the workplace is important and it yields positive gains both at the personal and professional levels. Active listening at the workplace increases motivation of the employees, enhances their well-being and yields more productivity.

Through active listening employees are able to grow both personally and professionally by having a broader sense for understanding the assigned tasks with minimum ambiguities that leave behind no barriers to the road of success.

The active listeners in the workplace are way different in their approach towards work and in their productivity as compared to the passive listener at work. The major differences between active listeners at work and passive listeners in workplace are as below :

  • Passive listeners in the workplace give meaning to the words that are being spoken only and are less aware of the feeling and emotional content of the words being said. Whereas active listeners pay attention to the words being spoken along the emotional component and feelings of the person who conveys the message. They pay attention to the intent and context of the message as well.

  • Passive listeners in the workplace pay minimum or near to none attention to the non verbal cues of the person who is conveying the message.  Whereas the active listeners in the workplace pay keen attention to the non verbal cues of the speaker and try to maintain eye contact .

  • The passive listeners in the workplace are easily distracted from their goal whereas the active listeners in the workplace are more focused and are better able to concentrate on their work.

  • The passive listeners at the workplace do not attend well to the speaker whereas the active listeners in the workplace attend well to the  speaker, process the message being communicated, interact through verbal and non-verbal cues and use active listening skills to better clarify the message being communicated.

What skills can help employees to use active listening in the workplace?

Employees at the workplace can utilize the following skills to practice active listening in the workplace:

  • Pay close attention
  • Understand and communicate through body language
  • Use clarification questions
  • Avoid interruptions
  • Avoid missing the message by being busy in taking notes
  • Respond appropriately
  • Pay close attention

Active listening in the workplace settings requires us to pay close attention to the words of the message being communicated and to the intent of the message being communicated. Active listening also requires attending well to the emotional component of the message being communicated.

  • Understand and communicate through body language

Active listening requires active use of non verbal cues, understanding the body language, the speech of the person conveying the message, the context of the message being communicated and the tone of the speech of the person communicating the message. 

Being an active listener, we need to attend well to the facial expressions of the person communicating the message.

  • Use clarification questions

Being an active listener in the workplace requires using techniques like probing, clarification, reflecting and summarizing inorder to share and validate your understanding of the message being communicated.

  • Avoid interruptions

Active listeners in the workplace setting tend to avoid interrupting the flow of the message being conveyed. They try to first understand the message being conveyed and later, if necessary ask for clarifications or to clear misunderstandings.

  • Avoid missing the message by being busy in taking notes

Unlike passive listeners in the workplace setting, active listeners in the workplace have more interest in listening and understanding the message rather than hearing the words and reproducing them on a paper inorder to refer to them later.

  • Respond appropriately

Active listening in the workplace is more based on verbal and nonverbal responses. An active listener provides assurance and importance to the speaker by maintaining eye contact, nodding their head, smiling pleasantly, greeting pleasantly and maintaining an open posture to keep the speaker at a comfort.

What are the advantages of active listening in the workplace?

Active listening in the workplace has the following advantages :

  • Employees active listening in the workplace helps them interact better with each other
  • Active listening in the workplace ensures emotional bonding between the leaders and the subordinates
  • Active listening promotes an environment of trust, care and mutual respect in the workplace.
  • Active listening in the workplace motivates the employees to do better as they feel they are being heard and understood well.
  • Active listening in the workplace promotes a culture of attending well to the needs of each other in the workplace
  • Active listening results in a positive change in subjective and psychological well-being of employees.
  • Active listening helps the employees to focus better on their assigned tasks and achieve the goals in a better way.
  • Active listening in the workplace helps the employees to have a positive attitude in the workplace
  • Active listening in the workplace facilitates the employees in adjusting well in the workplace settings with a new employee or a new boss.
  • Active listening in the workplace helps the employees to better adapt to the structural or organizational changes in the workplace
  • Active listening in the workplace promotes strong relationships between the employees
  • Active listening in the workplace helps the employees  to have a greater sense of self awareness, have a higher need for achievement and promote a better sense of autonomy.
  • Active listening in the workplace promotes emotional well being of employees
  • Active listening in the workplace helps the employees and employers to communicate effectively and efficiently without any biased views and judgments.

Conclusion

The current blogspot focused on active listening in the workplace settings. We focused on the various aspects of using active listening in the workplace, we also discussed the importance of active listening in the workplace and the ways to enhance active listening in the workplace for employees.

Frequently asked questions : active listening in the workplace

Why is active listening important at the workplace?

Active listening is important at the workplace as it motivates the workers to remain more focused and have fewer distractions. Employers will feel more in touch with each other and better interact with each other through meaningful conversations and thus there are less ambiguities.

What are four examples of active listening?

The four examples of active listening are :

  • Building trust with other people
  • Understanding the other person’s situation
  • Showing concern
  • Showing empathy
  • Providing validation

What is effective listening in the workplace?

Effective listening at the workplace is when you actively listen to and attend to the message being conveyed to you by the other person. Effective listening not only consists of listening to words but also to the feelings of the other person.

Image result for active listening in the workplace

What are the 7 skills for active listening?

The 7 kills for active listening include the following :

  • Listen attentively
  • Ask open ended question
  • Ask clarification questions
  • Paraphrase
  • Reflect the feelings
  • Summarize
  • empathize

Citations

https://www.umass.edu/wld/effective-listening-new
https://medium.com/@ellekaplan/active-listening-the-key-to-strong-workplace-relationships-productivity-and-personal-72650f32da4c
https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/guide/active-listening-definition/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/12/19/how-empathic-and-active-listening-can-improve-workplace-communication/?sh=2236260b1f3c
https://blog.vantagecircle.com/active-listening/
https://myseco.militaryonesource.mil/portal/article/active-listening-in-the-workplace

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