Are you a good listener? When we pose this question to people in our learning events, most rate themselves as “above average” (a mathematical impossibility). When we ask what good listening consists of, the most common themes are: not interrupting, letting others know you are listening by using nonverbal encouragers (“uh-huh”, “mmm-hmm”) and paraphrasing, by repeating back what the other person has said.
However, new research, conducted by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman of the Zenger/Folkman Leadership Development Group, suggests that these behaviors fall far short of describing great listening skills.
Their four main findings:
Not every conversation requires the highest levels of listening, but many conversations would benefit from greater focus and from the intention to listen interactively.
As a listener have you engaged in any of these practices? What else has worked for you? To join the conversation, click "comments" above. We would love to hear your feedback.