Ken Ingram – In the1960 American Comedy show Get Smart the Cone of Silence was a device used to communicate secret conversations between two people. While the idea was creative it was a horrible listening method. The problem was when activated they could hardly hear each other. One person often said, “What?”, and the other person would repeat, and repeat. It was funny and made us all laugh. Unfortunately, in real life, if we don’t listen effectively it isn’t that funny.
The Importance of Listening
We have two ears and one month to enable us to listen more than we speak. How often, when two people are speaking does the other person interrupt the speaker. Humans feel the need to respond to what’s being said immediately. What we should be doing is listening fully first and then responding.
If you want to be a better listener, commit to self-awareness to identify where improvement will be of most benefit. Ask others what their thoughts are to help you with your listen skills development.
Listening is critical to developing and demonstrating each person’s emotional intelligence. By actively listening, you can empathize with the person and with practice you’ll be able to better understand their emotions. Are they excited, anxious, furious, embarrassed, or intimidated? As a leader you have a direct impact on the quality of life of your employees and it has a ripple effect that you cannot even directly observe. Emotions are an integral part of communication.
Each person conveys vital information through their feelings and attitudes. When someone communicates with us, if we can commit to becoming a better listener, we are strengthening our empathic skills. However, if we continue to be a slave to our emotions then they can negatively impact our ability to listen, and we may react without thinking.
It is so much easier for an employee to go home at night and be a good spouse, parent. and friend if they work with a leader who listens effectively to their concerns and treats them with empathy and respect.
Connect with one of our coaches to access tools to enhance your emotional intelligence.