By Kibet Tobias
Communication skills are very important regardless of your profession. This is why a communication skills course is taught in most colleges and universities in Kenya. It is a must-have soft skill you need in your career.
However, according to Ms. Esther Kamau, an interview coachat Corporate Staffing, you cannot become a good communicator without good listening abilities.
“Good listening skills are in demand in every job because we interact with our bosses, employees, co-workers, and clients on a daily basis,” she says.
If you want to advance in your career, you need to work on your listening skills.
“During job interviews, you don’t just want to be heard; you actually want to be listened to. Active listening is a skill that can be acquired and developed patiently with little practice and can play an important role in helping you get ahead in your career,” Ms. Kamau adds.
Having known that, what are the benefits of being a good listener?
1. Good listening helps you build a strong rapport with others
How many times do you find yourself asking your colleague or manager to repeat themselves when they are talking to you?
Maybe this happened because you were distracted by something or you just weren’t listening.
Being able to actively listen and comprehend information allows you to build a strong rapport with coworkers, managers, and clients as an employee.
Most employers and managers have confidence in employees who can listen to instructions and then do what is expected with minimal follow-up.
If you are a good listener, then you have a better track record in solving problems arising at work.
2. Helps you become a better team player
With good listening skills, you will be able to work well in a team-based environment. It is known that for a team to work well, team members need to listen to each other.
Where team members don’t listen to each other, the entire communication process breaks down which eventually fails the team.
Th tasks which were supposed to be completed on time pile up due to misunderstanding. This will ruin the individual and team productivity. But if you are able to listen to each other, you will find your work moves smoothly.
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3. Active listening improves your emotional intelligence
In today’s corporate world, emotional intelligence is one of the most important traits you need as an employee. Being emotionally intelligent is all about your ability to control your emotions and those of others.
The simplest way to develop and improve your emotional intelligence is through active listening.
This soft skill allows you to empathize with others. Once you listen and understand where someone else is coming from, you will know how to deal with others in a manner that doesn’t cause conflicts.
Imagine a situation where a colleague is upset after dealing with a challenging project, your ability to listen can constructively help to find ways to manage the problem.
When you listen, you let coworkers know that you understand how they feel and can motivate your team to want to work better.
When you are able to listen and understand instructions, get along well with your colleagues you become more productive which will lead to career growth.
But if you want to better your career, you need to improve your listening skills. Start paying attention to both verbal and nonverbal communication, focus on the person speaking and ask for clarification if needed.