Blog 126. Business, Money And Your Career: Do You Really Know How To Truly Listen In The Workplace?
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If you don’t know how to listen to yourself you may be unable to listen to others – and listening to others in the workplace is crucial.
It is crucial to know how to listen to your boss, your colleagues, your employees, those who you wish to sell to, and those who you wish to do business with. It is crucial too, that you listen carefully to the general murmurings around you, which will tell you whether the company that you own or work for, is doing well or not – and indeed, whether the workforce are happy or not.
And it is crucial to listen in order to understand – which implies asking questions to get more information in order to learn more.
Listening also involves more than just using your ears. It is about learning to see and to watch ‘all the goings on’. None of which may require a running commentary – but the lessons may be valuable nevertheless.
Being able to truly listen, involves using ALL of your senses.
Often I heard myself repeating the following phrase over and over again to my clients: “You have ears and you have eyes. Use them. Learn to listen, learn to hear, learn to watch and learn to see”.
Learning these skills, and learning to listen with all your faculties, will always stand you in good stead. And it will help you make better choices and decisions.
Humans beings, are unfortunately not always taught the value of this important skill. As a result, we often land up missing the obvious or subtle clues or messages that everyone leaves us, through their actions, what they say or what they do, how they use their body language, and so on.
This is why when startling events or bombshells happen – there will always be those that will have seen it coming and there’ll be those who’ll land up looking shocked and surprised.
It is therefore so important that we realise that, if we were to learn to listen, watch and see, we may learn a lot more about a person or a situation and we may therefore be less shocked or taken by surprise.
On the contrary, what we learn from listening carefully and with attentiveness may even make us wiser. It may help us act quicker or walk away faster. It may even help us understand and judge a situation more intelligently or discerningly.
Also, as a Relationship Therapist I obviously had to learn to listen very carefully to what my clients where saying. Then I learned this important tip too:
When a couple left my Private Practice I found it useful to think back and remember not only to what was said, but also to what hovered or stuck out from what was said. In other words, it could be a sentence or statement that I would remember more vividly than the rest, or it could be something that I was left feeling.
This presented me with a clue, given to me by my clients either consciously or unconsciously, with regards an aspect that needed addressing. They were telling me something about themselves, something they were often not even aware of. and i would address this in the following session.
You can learn this tip too – by remembering what was said, what stood out and what it left you feeling.
You see, people tell us everything we need to know. We just need to learn how to listen and hear what people are actually telling us – about who they are, what they want, and so on. By listening attentively, you can then ask questions and you may be able to prod or get to the bottom of things that maybe in the past, you would have ignored possibly even to your detriment.
Indeed, had I not learned to listen in this way, I may have missed the tiny clues and as a result, a major element of what I needed to hear would’ve been lost.
This is because we communicate a large amount about ourselves often without even knowing it or realising it. And as suggested in the previous blog we do this also via our body language.
It is therefore important to understand that what we say and do – can be heard by those that are listening. Depending on what package we want to present in the workplace and so on, it may therefore be necessary to edit and learn more about what we are saying to others about ourselves. And employing an mentor or life coach may be necessary in some cases.
Either way, it is important to learn the skills and the art of listening.
And as, quoted by Diogenes Laërtius, Zeno of Citium once said, “We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.”
© 2020 Deidré Wallace All rights reserved.
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