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How to Be a Better Listener in the Workplace

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Better Listener

Are you listening?

Listening may be the most important aspect of effective communication. It’s a skill that is greatly valued in the workplace at every level of employment, and it’s difficult to learn.

Due to our lack of listening skills, we only retain about 25% of what we hear, which means we’re missing a lot! We have one mouth and two ears for a reason, as we should be listening twice as much as we’re speaking.

Being a good listener allows us to be better leaders, problem solvers, and team players. Good communication means less wasted time, fewer misunderstandings, and a smaller margin for errors. It also makes teamwork stronger, enables us to develop deeper relationships, interact better with customers and clients, and it allows for business growth. If we already have good listening skills, speaking skills are easier to develop.

So, how do we become better listeners? As one of Florida’s best employment agencies, we go over ways to improve your ability to listen. Enjoy!

Be in the Moment

Becoming a better listener is part of self-development. Email and texting have contributed to making us poor communicators and listeners. We tend to focus more on what we’re going to say back than we do actually listening. Instead of thinking about how you’re going to respond, focus on what the person is saying, that way you won’t miss key points of the conversation.

Try not to get distracted, maintain eye contact, be empathetic, and keep an open mind. If you are having a really hard time paying attention, repeat what the speaker is saying in your head. It can also be helpful to verbally summarize the conversation.

Better Listener 2

Look for Non-Verbal Communication

Listening isn’t just hearing the words coming out of someone’s mouth, it’s picking up on non-verbal clues as well. We actually do more listening through our eyes than our ears. Be a better listener by paying attention to the speaker’s tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language.

Give Feedback

Give the speaker feedback to show you’re paying attention by nodding and saying “uh huh” or “yes”. This is respectful to the speaker and shows them you’re interested in what they’re saying.

Wait for the speaker to finish speaking before you ask questions and try not to ask ones that distract from the main topic. If the conversation does get off track, try to nudge it back by asking the speaker to go back to what they were saying. Be sure to respond appropriately and respectfully. Don’t interrupt or monopolize the conversation – it should be balanced.

Take a Breath

Silence is a natural part of conversation and an often underrated part of listening. Don’t try to fill the seemingly awkward space with words. Use this time to think and process your thoughts. It’s amazing how much you can learn by just listening.


Our expert recruiters would love to communicate with you — we’re great listeners! For more blogs like this one or information about our staffing services, please visit the website. We are also very active on social media, so be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram. We look forward to sharing our resources with you!

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