- Describe common challenges to listening.
- Identify signs of poor listening.
- List effective strategies to recapture attention.
- Adopt the mindset of listening.
- Outline the structure of meaningful listening.
- Describe how to keep yourself from interrupting.
- Explain how to let someone know you've heard them.
Skill Level Intermediate
- We hear a lot in the work world about how to express yourself clearly, how to speak with force, and how to communicate so others pay attention. Companies pay good money to help train you on that, in fact. All that's important, of course, but it's only half the story. The other half is learning to listen well. There's very little instruction in that. You're expected to figure that out on your own. I'm Dorie Clark. I teach for Duke University's Fuqua school of Business, and I'm the author of Entrepreneurial You and Stand Out.
You never listen. You may have been told that since you were a little kid, or maybe you've received more recent feedback like on a performance review that this is an area where you can stand to focus. Or maybe you're completely self-motivated here and just want to uplevel your skills and get even better. Whatever your scenario, it's great that you're driving in because the critical mistake is thinking there's nothing to be done. It's not that some people are born good listeners and some aren't. It's a learned skill. Using a few key techniques, you can dramatically increase how well you listen and how your listening skills are perceived by others so they feel heard.
We're going to be talking about how to listen better and more effectively, because it's a skill you use every day. In fact, practically every hour. We'll cover everything from how to tell if you're not listening well so you can stop yourself, to strategies to keep from interrupting and how to cope when you're listening to someone boring or annoying. Let's face it, if you can get better at listening, that's a major, untapped competitive advantage. Let's get started.