How Are Listening Skills Important For Team Building
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Developing listening skills is an undervalued skill in our society today. We seem to have lost the ability to truly listen, to devote time to understanding what someone else is saying, and to focus on them instead of on ourselves or what we want to say next.
This lack of attention to others’ needs is one of the major reasons people are unhappy with their jobs. If you look around your workplace, there are always a few people who never get invited to meetings, or they are asked to be the “decision maker” even though no decisions need to be made because nobody ever brings up things that need to be decided upon.
The reason for this is usually due to poor communication and listening skills. People feel ignored and unappreciated and take it as a sign of failure rather than success when they go home at night.
It can also create a sense of entitlement where people believe that they should be rewarded for putting effort into working hard. This isn’t a good thing!
Team building is very important to successful work relationships. Without strong team-building practices, productivity will plummet and employees will lose motivation.
The importance of communication in team building
Having good listening skills is an invaluable skill to possess as a person. You will probably agree that talking less than someone else’s perception of what they think you are saying is frustrating at best, and annoying at worst.
Interpersonal relationships are built upon strong conversations; therefore, it is important to hone your listening skills so that you can better understand others’ points of view.
You will find that by doing this, things go much more smoothly and stress levels drop! Plus, you’ll learn a lot about people which is always interesting to do.
Teambuilding exercises often require participants to speak honestly and openly with each other. By having adequate listening skills, you'll be able to contribute more effectively.
Ways to improve team communication
One of the biggest hurdles in team building is creating effective conversations. When you are not talking, it can sometimes seem like half of the team does not know what they are supposed to do.
Conversations typically start with someone asking a question or making an assertion, and then everyone else replies by saying either yes or no to that statement. None of them may say anything beyond this because there is nothing more to add!
That is why having good listening skills is so important. You will have to learn how to actively listen to others’ statements, questions, and insights.
You must understand that your colleagues feel they need to tell you something before they stop speaking. By showing some interest, you show that you care about their thoughts and ideas.
This helps them feel more comfortable sharing things with you. They may even talk about things they would normally keep to themselves if they had better listening skills.
Helpful tips for effective team leadership
One of the most important skills to develop as a leader is listening. As a leader, you will spend a lot of time talking about things- whether it’s to your colleagues, superiors, or even the media!
But without good listening skills, all that talk can go in one ear and never be heard again. Plus, being able to listen well helps you understand how other people think, which makes solving problems more efficiently.
It also demonstrates that you are willing to put in the effort to get along with others, which is always a win.
So what are some ways to improve your listening skills? Here are 10 strategies for perfecting this key skill. Read on to learn them – and then try one out today!
1. Use silence effectively
Many people feel compelled to talk at all times, but this isn’t the best way to use your listening skills.
Too often we underestimate just how much energy it takes to make a conversation happen. It requires thinking up something interesting to say, finding the right timing to speak, and then actually having the courage to be quiet when needed!
By using silence as an element of your listening strategy, you can save yourself a little bit of mental effort. This is especially useful if you find yourself in a lull after someone has finished speaking, or if you realize that nothing more needs to be said.
Let people feel appreciated
As mentioned before, team building is not just about having fun together, it’s also about fostering trust and understanding between individuals in the group.
One way to achieve this is by letting people feel that they are important to the success of the project. The more you know someone, the more importance you place on their contribution, and the easier it will be to build relationships with them. This can be done through active listening – taking an interest in what other people say and responding appropriately – or asking direct questions that show you have listened carefully.
Asking open-ended questions gives others the chance to talk at length, while closed questions require a short response. Using appropriate vocabulary and emphasizing key points help create a positive environment.
Be a good listener
As mentioned before, being a good listener is one of the most important skills to develop as an individual. But it goes much deeper than that!
Being a good listener is also a key team-building skill. After all, how well can you say you know someone else when you don’t listen to a single word they say?
As a leader, being a good listener will help you build trust with others in your organization. It will show them that you are interested in their ideas and opinions and that you respect them.
It will also help you get the job done faster because people will feel free to tell you what they need from you or why something isn’t working.
On top of that, research has shown that being a good listener is linked to higher employee engagement and lower turnover.
Take people to get to know them
One of the most important skills team members can have is listening. The ability to listen well comes naturally to some, but not many. Luckily, you do not need to be a natural speaker to understand how speaking effectively works.
You can learn how to speak and talk more efficiently by learning about grammar, vocabulary, rhythm, tone, and style. Using these components, you will find that your speech has improved slightly in quality and efficiency.
With this knowledge, you are already halfway there! Now, here’s what I want you to do.
Take an hour or two today to focus on trying to hone your talking skill. Whether it’s with someone you know very well or even if it’s a stranger, try to spend some time chatting away.
Practice using good conversation techniques such as:
Knowing who their strengths and weaknesses are as a person
Finding common ground and moving on to other topics
Having a topic and then exploring around it
All of these work together to help you connect with others and form strong friendships. And trust me when I say that being able to relate to and communicate with people is a powerful thing.
Ask people about their experiences
A few weeks ago, I read an interesting article titled “Why Being Able to Listen Is The Key To Your Success”. As you can probably tell, this article was not talking about how important it is to learn how to listen to be successful. Rather, the writer discussed why being able to ask others about their experiences is key to success.
He pointed out that we are all given a unique set of skills when we enter the world. Some of us have great leadership qualities, while others do not. What makes someone else more successful than someone else is usually determined by their set of skills along with what worked for them before and what does not.
Asking other people about their experiences is one of the best ways to determine which parts of your personality help you succeed and which ones hinder you from moving forward. It also helps find new levels of talent you may not know you had at this stage in your life.
Reading this article reminded me a lot of myself. As I am very direct with things and like to talk about my past achievements and failures, I made a note to use asking people about their experiences as a test to see if I am aware of these skills.
Ask people how they are feeling
A lot of times, the conversation will get stagnant or even stop completely. People may feel that you don’t “want to talk,” or that you don’t care about them, which can make them stop talking as well.
Asking someone how they are doing every few minutes, helps break up this silence and can help them share something important – how they are feeling. This is especially helpful if they tell you that everything is fine and then suddenly cry after a while.
It also reminds them that you do want to hear what they have to say!
Ask about their day, work, things that made them happy, unhappy, etc. If there's anything they would like to discuss, ask if now is a good time or not. Sometimes, just being aware of their needs makes them come back with more detail.
Running an internal chat program allows for easy sharing and collection of information, but only if employees use it consistently. The way we speak to each other says a lot about us and our relationships, so making efforts to improve your listening skills should be practiced frequently.