what did you say? (the importance of listening in the workplace)

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What did you Say? (The Importance of Listening in the Workplace). MAWD Conference June 2013. Listening Defined. Effective listeners are people who have made a decision to get the meaning on life on purpose. An active listener is one who goes into a meeting (or appointment) wanting to listen. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Listening: The Heart of Teamwork

What did you Say?(The Importance of Listening in the Workplace)MAWD ConferenceJune 20131 Dynamic Works InstituteListening DefinedEffective listeners are people who have made a decision to get the meaning on life on purpose.An active listener is one who goes into a meeting (or appointment) wanting to listen.When we get into a situation where we know something is important we become an active listener.Active listening is a process that when practiced becomes a habit.

2 Dynamic Works InstituteAlso: Oftentimes, we listen more to our boss than to our spouse. When we get into a situation where we know something is important we become an active listener.24 Methods of Communication

InformRequestInfluenceEntertain3 Dynamic Works Institute4 methods of communication:Inform (give information)Request (ask for help) Note: we have a natural empathy for those in needInfluenceEntertain

3Listening Self AssessmentHow well do you think you listen? Lets check

Listening Self-Assessment

4Kaiser Group/Dynamic Works Institute 2012

What Listening Doesnt look likeThinking about what to say nextPersonal biasesInterruptingFake attentionTalk about selfEasily distracted

Dynamic Works Institute5

5 Elements of Active ListeningPay attentionShow that you are listeningProvide feedbackDefer judgmentRespond appropriately

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See article on Active Listening6Barriers to Active ListeningExternal distractionsOrganization of work areaMental errandsThinking about your responseIdentifying too closely with the topic/situationCustomers tone, accent, or choice of wordsMulti-taskingOthers?

7Kaiser Group/Dynamic Works Institute 2012Active ListeningWe remember 25 50% of what we hearGood communication skills require a high level of self-awareness. What is your communication style?Lets find out.

8 Dynamic Works InstituteWe remember 25 50% of what we hear. That means that when we talk to someone for 10 minutes, they only heard from 2 to 5 minutes of the conversation. Turned around, when you are being presented with information you only capture 25 -50% if it.Good communication skills require a high level of self-awareness. By understanding your personal style of communicating, you will go a long way towards creating good and lasting impressions with others.8Listening Patterns Dynamic Works Institute9

9Listening Patterns Dynamic Works Institute10

Listening Patterns Dynamic Works Institute11

10 Basic Steps of ListeningTune InDetermine RoleMeasure Value of CommunicationSuspend JudgmentReceive CommunicationInterpretCheck MeaningClarify and ConfirmAsk QuestionsAcknowledge Listening Process12 Dynamic Works Institute

10 Basics of ListeningTune In: turn toward what and whoDetermine Role: coworker, parent, spouse, etc.Measure value of communication: is it gossip (waste of time)? Who is it coming from, what do they mean to me?Suspend judgment (might be the hardest)Receive communicationInterpret what does this mean (#5 and #6 will depend on your relationship with the communication is coming from)Check meaning feedback to message to the delivererClarify and confirmAsk questionsAcknowledge listing process: Ok, is this what we talked about?12The importance of PracticeTQLRTune InQuestionListenReview13 Dynamic Works Institute

Tune In: mentally call up everything known on the subject and shut out distractionsQuestion: mentally formulate questionsListen: organize information as received, anticipate what will be said next mentally reactReview: go over what was said, summarize and evaluate

Group ActivitiesLarger group activities also serve as a helpful method for teaching listening skills to students. You can begin with a simple group activity. For the first part, divide students into groups of five or larger and instruct them to learn one hobby or interest of at least two other group members. Encourage them to ask clarifying questions during the activity, and you may allow them to take notes if helpful. However, as time passes and their skills grow, you should limit students to only writing notes after the completion of the first part of the group activity. For the second part, have the students sit in a large circle, and then have each individual student share the name and the hobby or interest of the group members that she or he met. This second part of the group activity can also lend itself to additional listening exercises. For example, you may ask students to name a number of the hobbies and interests identified during the sharing session.

13Mastering the StepsIncrementalism (over a 90 day period)Practice one every dayCritique yourself Did I learn more by listening today? Ask the question: Who am I listening as?Suspend judgment (will take practice)14 Dynamic Works Institute

Techniques to Improve Listening Skills15Listen with your faceBe aware of body languageFocus on contentAvoid distractionsTreat listening as a challengeStay mentally activeKaiser Group/Dynamic Works Institute 2012Listen to the customer first; confirm the message and facilitate the solution IF requested by the customer.

In his book, Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey discusses 5 levels of listening. His top level is what he calls empathic listening listening not only with your ears, but with your eyes and your hearts. Practice this. Here are some other ways you can listen to your customer:

Listen with your face: Act like a good listener tilt your face towards the speaker. Maintain eye contact. Of course, there may be times when you have to look down to write notes about your customer, but eye contact keeps you focused on the job at hand and keeps you involved in the speaker. React to the speaker by sending out non-verbals like nodding or smiling.

Focus on content, not delivery. Have you ever counted the number of times a customer clears his/her throat in a fifteen minute period, or counted the number of times a customer says uh or you know? If so, you weren't focusing on content.

Avoid distractions. Don't let your mind wander or be distracted by what goes on around you. Dont have one eye on your computer screen as youre listening to your customer. Focus.

Treat listening as a challenging mental task. Listening is not a passive act--at least it shouldn't be. You need to concentrate on what is said so that you can process the information into your notes.

Stay active by asking mental questions. Active listening keeps you on your toes. Here are some questions you can ask yourself as you listen. What key point is the customer making? How does this fit with what I know from previous conversations?

Remember, we were given two ears, and only one mouth. Use them in direct proportion to how they were given.15

Techniques to Improve Listening SkillsRestating or Paraphrasing

Reflecting Feelings


16Kaiser Group/Dynamic Works Institute 201216Ten More Keys to Good ListeningUse Listening ResponsesTake NotesPrepare in AdvanceAsk QuestionsReflect PhrasesLimit Your Own TalkingDont Jump to ConclusionsDont ArgueConcentrateDont Interrupt Dynamic Works Institute17

Active Listening Checklist18Kaiser Group/Dynamic Works Institute 2012Control distractionMake your work area customer-friendlyIdentify the customers purposeFocus on meaning, not styleMake notes of what you hearMake sure youre right (restate/paraphrase)Allow customers to complete their sentencesBe willing to admit when you dont understandBe patient. Take time to hear entire messageTalk less

18Questions? Dynamic Works Institute19Ann Merrifield573-864-1839amerrifield@dwfs.us


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