Listening and Hearing Aren’t the Same
To gain an insight into active listening and to use it, participate in Active Listening Training Course offered by pdtraining in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and other cities in New Zealand.
Listening and hearing are two completely different concepts. As a successful administrative assistant, it’s imperative that you learn how to “listen”; not just “hear” what’s being communicated to you.
We often take our ability to hear sounds for granted. Hearing is the human body’s ability to register sound in the brain. Sound waves trigger nerves that say you heard a train coming or car horn, etc. Listening, on the other hand, is our conscience effort to understand what is being heard and then taking the appropriate action.
Active listening requires an intentional focus on what is being said and processing the information. We can easily default to hearing if we are not careful. For example, you may be talking with someone and your eyes start focusing on the TV in the background. Once your eyes become disengaged from the talker, you have probably shifted into hearing mode.
To be a better listener you must build good active listening habits.
Keeping eye contact and stopping what you are doing are the first major steps in good listening habits.
For example, you’re manager may approach you at your desk while you are working on something on your computer. You may be reluctant to disengage from the computer and pick up the the conversation, so you might just hear what they are saying, but you’re not really listening. But when you do this you will probably miss some important aspect of the information while also sending the wrong message to the person doing the talking.
When someone approaches you to talk, do the following:
- Disengage from whatever you are doing and face the person
- Do not answer the phone when it rings, or if it’s a scheduled call then ask the person if you could answer the phone
- Use a note pad to jot important things down
- Summarise the conversation in your own words
- Maintain eye contact
- Ask questions
- Avoid thinking ahead or focusing on what you are going to say next
These behaviors will send the message that you are listening and improve retention of information.