Active listening is much more than just listening; it is defined as a communication strategy that puts empathy into practice. In addition to paying attention to what the person is telling us, it also involves paying attention to their emotions, ideas, and thoughts that underlie the main message. The listener should demonstrate that they have understood what the other wants to share.
Active listening is put into practice by paying attention to the message before taking action. Sometimes when we are told something, we react too quickly.: instead of paying close attention to them, we focus our attention on our response..
How to put active listening into practice at the workplace:
- It is essential the person feels listened to, cared for and free to express themselves. A conscious effort on your part is required to pay attention.
- It is not about pretending to be attentive or interested, it is about really allowing ourselves to listen to the other, giving them space.
- Active listening is about building a sense of trust, closeness and being safe.
- Learn to interpret non-verbal language such as body language.
- Active listening avoids automatic responses and making judgments, and it is not about pretending to be a psychologist for others – it does not imply or seek to give advice.
- When we listen to the other person, we may not like what they are telling us; however, active listening is about allowing them to express themselves without feeling judged. Reproaches should also be avoided.
- It is essential not to interrupt the other person; questions should help them express themselves to a greater extent.
- You may repeat or paraphrase the other person’s ideas so that they know that you understand them. do not change the nuance of what was said or use it to try and read between the lines.
- Assume a physical posture that lets the other know that you are willing to listen.
Why should we practice active listening at the workplace?
Here are some of the benefits of active listening in the workplace:
- Improves communication in work teams , in addition to taking into account the emotional and human side of professional relationships.
- Allows establishing relationships of trust in the work team.
- Prevents misunderstandings.
- Motivates others by making them feel heard.
- Allows everyone to participate in continuous improvement.