In her first blog, our new HR Support Assistant Kim discusses the benefits of just stopping to listen!
By Kim Mills
Do you ever interrupt someone when they’re talking to you? It might not be because you disagree with what they’re saying. It could just be because a brilliant idea has just popped into your head or you’ve thought of a solution to the problem. It could be that you’re just agreeing with them so end up finishing their sentences. How very annoying, right!
I’m definitely guilty of this and I don’t think I’m alone! Or at least I hope I’m not. I seem to be more aware of it these days and try my best to avoid it. If you’re more aware, then you’re a step closer to being able to change this bad habit for good!
Most of the time I’m trying to be helpful, show that I am listening or that I’m in agreement. I might even butt in about my own experiences or to try and show another side of the argument. Whatever the reason is, for me it’s always done with the best possible intentions, but interrupting another person can be disruptive and be perceived as inconsiderate or rude, even if you’re trying to be helpful.
I have been on the other side of it too. When you try to talk and give an opinion but someone keeps shutting you down and you end up confused and feel like your opinion doesn’t matter.
Obviously respond if you’re asked to, but what would happen if you did just stop and listen…
Listening is a really important skill and if you can master the art of really listening, you’ll be better off in many other aspects of life. It will help with your career development and will help you to build on existing relationships with your colleagues, friends and family members. A conversation is a two-way street, so if you both need to get your point across, listen to each other in turn and don’t interrupt.
If you’re a manager, listening will improve the working relationship you have with your staff and in turn, they’re then more likely to value your leadership.
So, next time someone asks you for a chat, maybe bite your tongue and just …listen before speaking!
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