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What Is Active Listening?

There is a huge difference between hearing and listening.

Hearing in simple form is sound perceived with your ears.

But listening is focusing, paying attention, remembering, processing, making change or taking action as a result. I consistently find though that a lot of people miss that mark and don’t have good listening skills. The range is wide- companies, management, coaches, even your spouse.

Why is that? It’s such an important skill.

How can listening be improved?

In a company or management situation that’s a tough call if you are the employee. The employee ends up being exhausted from trying to share their thoughts and not being heard.

Or they can often be seen as polarizing.

Their thought process is:

“Why Bother?” Am I wasting my time?”

They realize it’s not their company so they just deal with whatever and move forward. If you are a company owner or management – are you listening or hearing?

What Are Some Further Thoughts and Tips on Listening?

And if you are like me and you can bring it to an energetic level.  I have often felt in my career that I was wasting my energy when I would give feedback or share ideas that could help the business move forward. I became frustrated when I knew the business improve and the suggestions I had suggestions fell on deaf ears.

So, I ended up saying, “Why bother?” I learned to spend my energy elsewhere. That is why active listening is so important.

Another tip is if it’s your spouse or someone you know who isn’t listening to you- stop talking.

Maybe there is a better time to share the information. Communicate that it’s important to listen to what you are saying vs just hearing and circle back later when they are more focused.

If it’s a life coach, and I am speaking from experience in working with various life coaches, move on.

Yes unfortunately, there are life coaches out there that are not good listeners. They have their coaching program, which may be great and suit your intention, but then it may be time to move on from working with them.

Moving on goes for any book, podcast, or course material you may consume. Often you pay for these products and they are not even being consumed to the best of your capability. Are you listening to what’s being shared or just hearing?

As with anything- recognizing is the first and often most crucial step to making change.

So, take a few seconds to think about whether you are a good listener and whether you are hearing or listening next time you have a conversation.

Your relationships and business depend on it.

(Photo via Pexels)