Active listening

I attended a training program on Active Listening, empathy etc. the other day at work. I remembered each and every slide that day/ that hour. Today after about just a week… I just remember a few keywords enjoyed the session, I thought I will remember everything, but…

Active listening is a forgotten key to success in almost every field. We are repeatedly told to just not “hear” what the customer is saying (here the customer could be your client or the candidate), but “listen” to what is being said. And over that the customer should know that you have listened.

But then even when you have actually listened, you may not remember everything. “In one ear and out the other”, this old adage takes over. Research also tells that after listening, you remember half of what is said and after eight hours, half of this half… OMG!! How do I even retain what I listen?

I have tried doing a few things that are helping me… something like taking notes during the session, having group discussions after the training program, using my senses (visual, auditory, linguistic). Somehow I try to ensure that I have coded the info in my brain. I also try to summarize for others. It forces me to organize the way I go about learning it. My approach becomes systematic.

Active listening involves being truly engaged in a customer’s message and listening more than talking. It helps us to both understand the customer and to subtly challenge the customer to pay attention to his or her own words.

I am just hoping that my next session is not just a break from routine for me. I do active listening and learn and remember always..

By Vandana S Chawla
Principal Consultant – IndiHire

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