I believe that most people in the workplace are not good listeners and require training to improve their listening skills. According to Baack (2012), “The level one listener maintains an open mind and pays attention respectfully by maintaining eye contact, sitting or standing attentively (leaning forward), and without an expression signaling disregard, boredom, or overt disapproval” (Section 6.1, para. 1). Baack also advises that most employees are not level one listeners. (Baack, 2012).
Similar to training in other areas such as compliance or policies from the employee code of conduct, organizations can provide guidance to employees to improve their listening skills. Spataro & Bloch (2018) have created teaching methods specifically designed for listening, “To help address the need for teaching active listening skills, we developed the method described below for adding active listening to any course where developing listening skills is within the scope of the learning objectives, including courses in business communication, management, negotiation or conflict management, and ideation”. (pg. 173). This illustrates that there are learning tools available that specialize in listening development that employers can utilize.
After taking two self-assessments, I have been able to identify an area that I need to work on to improve listening skills. A method that I plan to practice is to not interrupt the speaker. By not interrupting the speaker will allow me to be more relaxed in the conversation. This will also enable me to gather the full message that is being delivered. By obtaining the entire message without any interruptions, this should allow me to retain what is being said in its entirety. This is an area that I need to focus on and will be beneficial to me when communicating in the workplace.
Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
Spataro, S.E. & Bloch, J. (2018). Can you repeat that? Teaching active listening in management education. Journal of Management Education, 42(2), 168-198. doi: 10.1177/1052562917748696
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