Commit to maintaining good listening skills

Good listening skills start with listening well

When you’re listening to someone speak, especially someone up close, do you really listen? That is, are you paying attention? Do you let the person speak, or do you interrupt repeatedly?

listening well, the art of listening well

This notion of listening well came to me during a social event I attended recently. Throughout the event, I met and spoke with several people. Some I hadn’t seen in decades; others were new to me. In each case I was interested in learning about them: where they are from, what they’re up to, and such. Often I would find myself eager to break into the conversation to add a thought. I had to stop myself, though, to prevent from interrupting.

The art  of listening well starts with actually listening. As the old adage goes, “The good Lord gave you two ears and one mouth. Use them in that proportion.”

People have a tendency to jump into a conversation and offer their opinions. Other times they’ll cut in an attempt to finish the other person’s thought. While that behavior is annoying enough in general conversation, it can have really adverse effects in business settings.

Here are some suggestions for listening well:

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Effective communication skills are critical in today’s economy

Effective communication skills help you compete

The massive layoffs in recent years and the continued soft state of the economy have caused many people to turn to job training. To be really effective, part of that retraining should involve developing and maintaining effective communication skills.

Having the confidence to look a person in the eye and express yourself in an intelligent manner can mean the difference between success and failure during an interview and later.

Consider this: Two equally qualified candidates interview for a position. One is poised and gives clear, thoughtful answers. The other slouches in the chair, laces his answers with heavy doses of “you know”, “like” “whatever”, and is constantly looking down or away. Who do you think stands the better chance for a second interview? Whom would you invite back?

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