As a project manager, you may be bombarded with several concerns, opinions, thoughts from all directions from all sorts of individuals, so how can you keep focus and give your undivided attention to all? It’s quite a hard question, as listening is a skill that each of us need to constantly work on to improve. Below are some tips that may be of help to you:
- Stop Talking. You cannot listen if your mouth is moving
- Focus your Eyes on the Person that is Talking. This shows respect for the person you are talking to, by giving your undivided attention all focused on them
- Remove all Distractions, such as, locking your computer so you can’t see e-mails pop up or work displayed on your computer screen, closing your door from outside noise, don’t answer any phone calls, trying to guess what the speaker will say next, etc.
- Smile!! By smiling you help to put the speaker at ease, so they feel more comfortable and relaxed talking to you
- Empathize with the speaker by putting yourself in the speaker’s shoes
- Learn To Be Patient, as not every person delivers the message at the same pace
- Hold your Temper and don’t just fly off the handle, as the speaker may not what to come and share news with you in the future, as they don’t want to upset you
- Easy on Criticism, as criticizing the speaker can suppress the communication flow
- Avoid Early Evaluation. Listen to everything the speaker has to say, without making immediate judgments on that speaker.
- Ask questions! Paraphrase and clarify the speaker’s message, as this not only makes sure you understood what the speaker said, it also shows the speaker you were listening to what they were saying
- Make sure the speaker has completely finished their message before you interrupt the speaker, as this no only shows respect, but helps the speaker make sure they are able to say all they wanted to tell you
- Thank the Person for coming to talk with you and sharing the news so you are aware
When was the last time you had a difficult time communicating with someone at work, school, or even in your personal life? Review the list above and evaluate the situation to see which ones that could of helped to improve the situation. We all want to feel like someone is listening to us and shows they care, so make sure you show someone else that same respect by listening that you would want to receive in return.