Listening is important in all aspects of life, but it is especially important at work. Listening carefully can mean the difference between completing a project the right way or the wrong way.
Unfortunately, listening isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Even those of us with good hearing can end up missing something important, even if we think we’re listening carefully!
Don’t get left behind in your next conversation at work because you couldn’t hear exactly what the speaker was saying. Here are four tips that will help you do a better job of listening so you can boost your performance at work.
Don’t think you’re stuck with a hearing aid if you’re having a hard time hearing at work. For those with normal hearing, amplifiers are a much better choice.
Best Hearing Health notes, "Hearing amplifiers can help improve work performance if you need to hear conversations clearly to ensure you aren’t missing key details."
These devices are made to help the average person hear better in a variety of environments while canceling out noise that can interfere with good listening. They are especially effective in loud settings, like a meeting that’s taking place over lunch in a local restaurant.
Face the Person Who Is Speaking
Humans have good sound localization skills, which means we can determine which direction a sound is coming from. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean we’re good at decoding language if we aren’t facing its source.
Orientate your body and your head so you are facing the speaker. That way, sound waves enter your ear directly, giving you the best chance of hearing exactly what they’re saying.
Four Tips for Doing a Better Job
If you want to hear better, you have to cull the distractions, which means calming your inner dialogue. You can listen better if you aren’t thinking about other things while someone else is speaking.
A few tips for calming your mind include:
- Learn to meditate
- Practice mindfulness
- Learn to live in the moment
- Visualize what the person is saying
- Make it a point to ask a few questions
When listening to a co-worker or supervisor, try your best to listen to what they’re saying without judgment, and don’t be afraid to repeat portions of the conversation to ensure you understood exactly what it is they were trying to say.
Pay Attention to Nonverbal Cues
No matter how hard you try to focus, sometimes, you’re going to miss things. Fortunately, you can stay in the loop by paying attention to nonverbal cues.
For example, if you see someone place their hand under their chin, they might be in the process of making a decision, so it's a good idea to pipe in and provide your opinion.
We can all do a better job of listening at work. With the tips on this list, you can focus in and do a better job of hearing exactly what your coworkers have to say, which in turn will help you do better at your job.
About The Author
Stephanie is the senior editor at Best Hearing Health and loves to research and write about topics that will have a positive impact on the lives of others.