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Excellence And Integrity In Global Agricultural Recruitment

Active Listening

Becoming A Better Listener Can Lead To Opportunities For Promotion

Improving listening skills can lead to better work (and personal) relationships

By: The De Lacy Executive Recruitment Team 

Active listening is very difficult to master; we come into conversations with low attention spans and with our own agendas leading to a dangerous mix.

Listening requires both people to be actively participating in the conversation, and it can be frustrating when you are not being heard.

Improving your listening skills can help you to build strong business relationships and even enhancing your promotional opportunities.

"When you're present and in the moment, things move in slow motion. You can take everything in. If you're present, you'll remember everything," says Author of Samurai Listener, Cash Nickerson.

Nickerson developed the acronym, ARE U PRESENT, breaking down the act of listening and identifying each part in the acronym can help you to become a better listener.

Awareness: Begin with basic awareness. Stop thinking about what you are going to do today and get off your phone.

Reception: You may be present in a conversation, but you need to be willing to receive new information by letting go of your opinions and drop your biases.

Engagement: "I talk, you talk" says Nickerson. Like a ping pong match, both people need to go back and forth with their thoughts to show you are interested and engaged in the conversation.

Understanding: Listen with the intention of being on the same page with what the other person is saying. Interpreting what the other person is saying allows both people to get in sync.

Persistence: Do not let your mind wander, try to keep your attention to what the other person is trying to say. Stay to the course and push through the tiredness and boredom to be persistent.

Resolution: "Leaders are Doers," says Nickerson. Close the conversation with the takeaways and identify and articulate the next steps.

Emotions: "Emotions can work for you or against you. Recognize their roles and learn to discern them and their effect on your ability to hear others," says Nickerson. Respect your emotions and their roles.

Senses: To assist with remembering, utilize your other senses. Look for clues in the other person's body language - this can be harder to do, but still possible, virtually.

Ego: Try to remove your ego from the conversation to make it easier to listen to the other person.

Nerves: Stress and tension can get in the way of being able to listen to the other person. Being able to control your nerves can allow you to listen more easily.

Tempo: Get in rhythm with the speaker, being out of sync with the other person can make it difficult to listen efficiently.

"Great leaders advance themselves; they're self-improvement machines. You can't advance your skills and knowledge without understanding others," says Nickerson.

Using the ARE U PRESENT acronym, you will be able to become a better listener, which can lead to building stronger relationships, leading to potential career advancement.

Good listening skills are like the techniques that need to be practiced. Good listening involves being in the moment and present while being able to take everything in from the conversation. Listening is not an on/off switch!

"Imagine if you went to school and didn't pay attention to anything - how would you get better?" asks Nickerson. "Great leaders advance themselves by becoming good listeners and advancing their knowledge and skills by understanding others. Listening is the basis for growth and advancement", says Nickerson.

Bottom line, "Good listeners tend to get advanced and promoted," says Nickerson.

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