Listening can be crucial to the success of your professional goals and those of your team, it is important to hold yourself accountable often and to not get lost in various modern-day distractions or misunderstand what is being communicated to you. CSS ProSearch put together five tips on how to improve your listening skills throughout your various in-person and video meetings.
Maintain eye contact with the speaker.
Have you ever noticed a person’s eye contact when having a conversation? Most would answer yes because eye contact shows where a person’s attention may be during a conversation.
“When listening, it is important to use the 50/70 rule. Maintain eye contact 50% of the time when speaking and 70% of the time when listening. This will assure the other person that you are engaged and have their undivided attention,” says Abby Prince, CSS ProSearch Managing Director.
Be present & relaxed; give them your undivided attention.
In conversation, is there anything worse than someone who is staring out into space or checking phone notifications while you are speaking to them? Many of us have fallen victim to ‘the distracted listener’ and if you have, you most likely are aware of how unimportant it may make you feel. Therefore, it is important to remember to be present. Many claim that the secret to being successful is to be fully present in the current task or conversation. This is true because it ensures that you are focused and do not miss any important details being communicated to you.
Listen to what is being said & avoid thinking about how you are going to respond.
Ah, the well-known saying “listen to understand, not to respond.” In a world where it is the norm to move in a fast-paced manner, it is important to ground yourself and truly understand what is being communicated to you rather than sharing your input without properly understanding or even worse, in an unsolicited manner.
Do not interrupt – wait for the speaker to be finished before asking questions.
We have all seen it – in a meeting, in a group setting with friends: someone is expressing their thoughts and boom, interrupted by a question or statement. In a professional setting, this could end up adding more time to a meeting or steering the meeting in the wrong direction which results in a waste of employee time AKA company dollars. To prevent interruption, the best practice is to write down your thoughts and questions throughout the meeting and save them for when the speaker is finished sharing their thoughts. Asking questions can also ensure you are understanding everything that is being communicated to you.
Listen for ideas & not only facts.
Critical listening is important, especially in a business setting. There are many opportunities to be creative when another individual is sharing their thoughts. When listening, jot down ideas you may have while also listening to the facts being shared with you. By doing this, you are allowing yourself to better contribute to the conversation with a different perspective.
CSS ProSearch is a sales recruiting firm that places top sales and marketing talent for growing businesses in the healthcare, technology and consulting verticals.
Our sales recruiters take a consultative approach to recruiting, acting as a true partner in the success of both our clients and our talent. With over 50 years of combined experience, our team combines best-in-class recruiting practices, technology, research and innovative approaches to deliver exceptional service with every engagement.
Who we serve
Our clients range in size from high-growth entrepreneurial organizations to large corporations in healthcare, technology and consulting. Our most successful clients are companies that:
- Recognize sales and marketing talent as a competitive advantage.
- Have experienced an event that requires a hiring initiative.
- Are open to an honest and consultative partnership.