Montgomery’s Productivity Guru: The Advantages of Active Listening

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Whole books have been written about why we don’t listen very well, but the primary causes are either that we are busy evaluating and/or composing a response to the other person’s words, or we’re distracted in some other way. I’ll summarize the benefits of active listening.

Respect

When you listen with full attention, without interruption, you are communicating respect. By offering respect, you also gain it.

Throughput

When you are actively listening, rather than interrupting or letting your mind wander, the other person is more likely to tell the whole story and reveal more details.

Between the lines

When people talk to us, they’re using words, but their facial expressions and body language say even more about what’s going on. These cues are crucial to understanding the finer details. Active listening helps you avoid some of the assumptions, misunderstandings, and conflicts that are common in conversations.

Ideas

If your colleagues don’t believe you’ll actively listen to new ideas, they’re more likely to keep those ideas to themselves. Ideas that never see the light of day cause stagnation and inefficiency.

Airtime

When people know, you will actively listen to them, they are also more likely to reciprocate.

Karl Plesz

Your Productivity Guru

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