|Not feeling heard is a common frustration in the workplace. Taking time to listen.... to really listen is a gift you give to others.
How many times have you been in an important conversation and not feeling heard is getting in the way of resolution? Instead of feeling frustrated, consider this perspective... just for a moment.:
If you are talking to someone and they are not listening, be patient. Maybe he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” Winnie-the-pooh.
Isn’t this a great reminder of the importance in being patient in our conversations with others? As a consultant facilitating teams through dialogue and team building processes, I often see the challenges in communication, one being listening and another being patience.
Our world is often a “results now” environment, and communication does not necessarily work at the speed of light.
For effective dialogue and building mutual understanding, we must take time to listen, and ask the right questions.
Here are a few tips to build patience in communication:
- Be interested in the process (the communication itself), not just the outcome
- Every time you find yourself jumping to a solution in your head, ask another question. The best questions are those that are open ended (begin with ‘who, what, where, when, why and how’).
- Implement the three second rule - wait three seconds before responding.
- If you are not clear on what has been said, ask a question to clarify instead of making an assumption. Assumptions are typically incorrect.
· Consider this- listening is a gift you give to the other person, and it is often reciprocated back to you. In the conflict resolution, communication and team building presentations that I deliver, listening is one of the foundational skill sets we discuss. Removing judgements, assumptions and blame can improve your dialogues in these three ways:
- more engagement and participation of the other person
- keeps the conversation forward moving and on track
- listening expands and so do the options for resolution