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How to be a Good Listener

 

How to be an effective listener

 

There are many guidelines that will help you to become a more effective listener.

• Find an area of interest

Listen with a purpose. Be interested. Try to organize what you hear.

• Judge content, not delivery

Do not stop listening just because the speaker does not meet your expectations. Listen to the words & look for the message.

• Hold your fire

Do not get over-stimulated by the message. Do not react until the message is complete. Keep your emotions in check. Do not interrupt because you believe that what you have to say is more important or more correct. There will be time for you to respond later. The speaker may surprise you and wind up saying what you want to say.

• Listen to ideas

Focus on the person’s central ideas. Do not get bogged down by the unnecessary details. Try to listen at a higher level. Listen for new knowledge or concepts.

• Be flexible

Vary the ways in which you attempt to remember the information. Concentrate on finding the best way to retain the information.

• Work at listening

Establish and maintain eye contact. Acknowledge understanding. Stay tuned-in.

• Resist distractions

Concentrate on the speaker. Tune out other things that may be going on. Turn off the things you can control, like the TV or the radio. Try not to do several things at the same time.

• Exercise your mind

Challenge yourself to listen very attentively. Try it for a short time and then make it longer and longer. See if you can listen to an entire presentation without losing concentration.

• Keep your mind open

Communication efficiency drops to zero when we hear certain trigger words, such as Communist, Democrat, or Republican. Everyone has words that evoke an emotional response. Effective listeners are aware of keeping their convictions and emotions in check.

• Capitalize on thought speed

Most of us talk at the rate of 120 words a minute. Our thinking speed is about 500 words a minute. That gives us a lot of spare time while a person is speaking to us. Poor listeners let their minds wander.

 

LOOK at the person who is talking.

LISTEN and don’t interrupt.

ASK questions to find out more.

NOD, or say something to show you understand.

REPEAT what you heard in your own words.

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter

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How to Master Workplace Conversation

Workplace Conversation

 

“Sensitize & Strategize – Navigating your way through workplace conversation”

 

Have you ever had one of those moments at work when a colleague says something that is in poor taste? It’s easy to spot a moment like that. It’s usually followed by ingratiating laughter or in some cases, just awkward silence.

Surely most of us have been at one end of this conversation at some point or another.

Workplace conversation can be a tricky act to master. Let’s think about it – you spend an average of 8 hours (or more) in a closed space with the same people, day in and day out. It’s like having a family. You don’t get to choose your colleagues and you’re expected to get along with everyone. Some of these colleagues might even be your friends and they often are. But your workplace doesn’t afford you one luxury that your family does – the luxury of saying anything and everything.

 

Being friendly with colleagues often leads to friendly conversations. And sometimes people might say things that are disrespectful to another. There are several areas that are neither black nor white and these are the grey areas which are the knottiest. This is why we should steer clear of certain precarious topics

 

Here goes, workplace conversation strategy:

 

Religion

 

An area where conflict might arise is religion and religious practices. The rule of thumb is to always be respectful. An important thing to remember is to never make unfounded statements about another religion. Religion is a highly sensitive topic and must be handled with extreme caution.

Relationships

 

We sometimes get a bit antsy when people start to go beyond polite relationship talk. People often talk about who they’re going out with or getting engaged to or married to. There’s nothing wrong with that between friends. But when people cross the genial talk line and end up on the other side, it can be intrusive. It’s getting increasingly complicated to discuss relationships in workplaces because relationships are complicated. It’s easier to stay away from getting too personal with colleagues about their relationship status, their hook-ups and break-ups.

Politics

 

You must bear in mind that politics and political views are often the only ingredients you need to start a fight. Discussing politics is understandably a great conversation starter, but it needs dexterous handling.

 

There is such a thing as being too friendly- often, people use their friendly status with someone to say things that clearly don’t belong in the workplace. Commenting on someone’s looks, favorably or otherwise is a no-no. Sometimes we hear comments like ‘You look hot’ or “You should lose some weight’ casually flying about. If it’s the former, it can be tougher to respond to. No one dislikes a compliment. But compliments, in many instances can be a mask for inappropriate comments.

 

Workplace conversation is a ground that must be tread upon carefully. Be aware, note and report any red flags. A safe work environment is one where respect is the definitive sentiment.

 

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter

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How To Lead Phone Conferences?

Leading Phone Conferences

The conference call is one of the most familiar rituals of office life. Leading a conference call is just like leading any other meeting, only you are not able to see if people are engaged .What this reality demands is your usual mode of leadership accented with a slight mechanical bearing.

When the recession hit, many companies cut costs by greatly reducing the number of in-person meetings. This forced employees into using conference calls as an alternative means of communication. Conference calls can be a productive and efficient way to hold a meeting, especially for individuals who would otherwise have to travel long distance to attend meetings which may at times just be for half an hour whereas the travel time could even be 2-3 hours or more.

However if the call is not conducted in a professional and organized manner, it can be a waste of time for everyone. Chairing a conference call gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to manage & direct others.

HERE ARE A FEW TIPS:

  • Make sure all participants have the number to call with necessary details like why are you meeting, when and where is the meeting, who is attending, making sure that right people are on the call and starting and ending it on time is also important.
  • Begin with the summary of an agenda and purpose of the meeting. Have people introduce themselves quickly. Speak loud & clear.
  • Write down important points during the call, so you can raise them when you get a turn to speak. When not speaking, attendees should mute their phone/ mic, especially if they are in a place where there is a lot of background noise.
  • Everyone’s time is valuable, so it’s important to keep the meeting moving along and cover all agendas.
  • Review action items and other important take-aways at the end of the meeting. Confirm that everyone is in agreement with next steps.
  • Always sign off from a conference call with a formal goodbye. It’s a phone call after all, and you would do the same thing if you were talking to a person one to one.

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter

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