Feeling tired, stressed, powerless, annoyed, resentful or angry at work? Chances are not quite perfect communication has something to do with it. Poor communication in organizations is like a vampire that sucks out resources, leaving behind:
This course, Learn how to Listen Like a Leader, one of our Business Soft Skills series. You learn everything you need to know for better, deeper, more effective listening, the first step in good communication. Great leaders are good listeners, but we are not born good listeners. It is a skill that has to be learned, practiced and mastered. This course has it all, including how to listen, reflect, respond reflectively, and directively. Taking it will lead to
Delivered through attractive, lively online video, rich documents, and carefully constructed exercises. You must take this course if you care about being more effective as a co-worker, Leader, and/or a human being.
We work with each other, and the soft skills necessary to ensure a good working relationship are as or more important than the hard skills we use. Listening is not a natural skill in most people. An important skill, along with responding, it can be mastered in this course.
Active Listening is a skill set borrowed from counseling. It is easily understood, and with practice, can be mastered. The reason it is worthwhile to learn is so you can know what the real question is, before you try and answer it. Too often we assume we know, and the person talking assumes they know, and neither of us really do because a big part of what we want to say and what we hear is emotional.
What is said is only a small part of communication: body language and tone of voice are important.
A quick review of the key points of the previous lecture
To understand what the person is trying to say, deeply, means to walk in their shoes for awhile, to see through their glasses rather than your own. People open up to someone who seems interested and cares.
Don't respond until you really know what to respond to. If you are talking you are not listening.
Questions are the best tool for understanding, as long as they aren't leading questions.
To help encourage better communication
Responding starts even before your listening is done. The tools are simple. Doing them requires practice.
Emotions can take over, twist what we hear and what they say. Listening to feelings, and careful questioning technique can lead you to the core of what they are trying to say.
We pick up habits in body posture and tone even before we can talk, by copying those around us.
Building towards your response by filling in the gaps in Who, What, Why, Where, When and How, like a good detective.
Many times, just in listening actively and responding reflectively alone, the person comes to their own answer, and there is no need to respond. For those times that a direct response is needed, you are ready to respond to the real question.
Some examples of the classic ways we listen badly. See any that are embarrassingly familiar?
I bring many years of experience along every step of the food chain from farm to table, sharing my experiences, making people smile, helping people enjoy life more, and make great products profitably. My life's work has been about enjoying, nurturing, collaborating and cultivating in harmony with Nature.
A former 5 Star Chef, including 8 years with the prestigious Ritz Carlton Corporation, in the 1980's I pioneered the introduction of restaurant quality food to the Supermarket Industry in Northern California.
I was President and Chairman of the Board of the American Cheese Society, and am a founding member of the Deming Collaboration. In the 1990's I worked behind the scenes helping to plant the seed and cultivate the renaissance of high quality, local foods, from family farms in the US, working with, among others, the California Milk Advisory Board, The Extra Virgin Olive Oil Alliance (EVA), and the Dairy Business Innovation Center.
He blogs on productivity in harmony with Nature and is a monthly columnist for the Cheese Reporter.