Saturday, 23 October 2010

Actve Listening and Thoughtful Speaking

Seek First to Understand .... Then to Be Understood

Formulating our responses as people talk can limit our actual understanding of their message. Listening with the intent to understand, not with the intent to reply, allows us to be active listeners. We can determine our responses after we’ve heard the message. This also eliminates most misunderstandings.
Before you speak, ask:

Active Listening

  • Listening is as important as speaking.
  • Pay attention to what is being said and how it is being said
  • Show that you are listening by reflecting what is being said, using nonverbal responses.
  • Ask questions to clarify or summarize what has been said
  • Do not interrupt unless the conversation has turned into a monologue
  • Get rid of your hidden agendas. They’ll keep you focused on how to convince people, rather than listening.
  • Check your assumptions
  • Practice Active Listening
Thoughtful Speaking
  • Acknowledge the need to meet other people’s communication needs.
  • How do they need to hear your message?
  • Notice how others speak
  • Adapt your language and style to maximize understanding
  • Acknowledge their personality preferences
  • Know your audience:
  • What is the best way to share your message with them?
  • What do they need to know?
  • If the message is not understood, the communicator needs to reframe the message
  • Practice Thoughtful Speaking
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,  by Stephen R. Covey, gives some great advice and practice in Habit 5, for communicationn skills.

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