Are you a good listener?
Most people believe they are good listeners, yet others often don't say the same about them.
That can lead to a lot of misunderstandings, frustrations and hurt feelings. At work, it can harm your professional reputation or even lead to you missing out on some new opportunities because the boss doesn't believe you are a good listener.
A recent study of providing better customer service also provides some real insight into how we can all become better listeners, whether it's dealing with a customer or a colleague.
The key: Being concrete when responding.
This means that instead of saying something generic like, "I'll help you with that," or "That can be fixed," you are more definitive in your answer. "I'll help you correct that report before it goes to the client," or "I can fix that email marketing campaign so that it goes to the right people," shows the speaker that you clearly understand the issue and have been listening.
In other words, when you use words like "that," it's too vague and doesn't make the speaker feel like you are paying attention. It sounds too generic, as if you're making an automated response while you're really thinking about something else.
When you show others that you are paying attention, they feel more connected to you and it helps establish greater trust and a belief in your abilities. So, don't be wishy-washy in your responses, but instead try to offer concrete answers.