The paper "Effective Listening Behaviour, Managerial Implications" is a great example of management coursework. In the present era, you can demonstrate a caring attitude easier through compassionate, complete listening than through talking or even asking questions. Listening often is described as the most important communication skill. (Tung 29-43) By fact-gathering in listening, you can confirm what you have most in common with those people, at that moment. Only then can you consider where to build bridges to deepen relationships. Active listening is listening in combination with questioning to stay engaged with others and better understand the issues they are raising.
(Tung 29-43) Managers need to really listen to employees. Show respect for them when they speak. Ask questions to show interest and clarify expectations. Managers should not just "talk" open door policy. They need to "walk" it by being visible and talking to employees. (Tung 29-43) Given the importance of listening, think about how much formal training you’ ve had in listening: 2 weeks, 1 week, 1 day or maybe none for many of us. Yet listening is critical to our ability to influence change.
Next, we must realize that listening is not a passive activity. Listening is actually a dialogue, not a monologue where the speaker speaks and the listener merely listens. Listening requires the use of our eyes, mouth, brain, body and, oh yes, our ears. We need our eyes so we can see the expression and body language, our mouth to acknowledge and clarify our brain to assimilate the message, our body to indicate we are open and understanding, and our ears to hear the words and how they are spoken. This simple model should be most helpful in growing our listening skills.
(Wright 295-320) Managers should allow people to disagree and to come up with new ideas. Some components of active listening include: Restating or Paraphrasing: Responding to the person's basic verbal message by feeding it back to them in different words – e.g. “ or putting it another way, you want to occur, is that correct? ” (Tung 29-43) Reflecting: Reflecting approaches, skills, or substance that have been known or professed by indications – e.g. “ you appear to be frustrated by this decision, probably angry about this situation” (Tung 29-43) Interpreting: Presenting a cautious explanation about the other's stance, needs, or connotations – e.g.
“ if I understand you correctly, by saying you mean” (Tung 29-43) Summarising, Synthesising: Bringing together feelings and content; providing a focus – e.g. “ OK, so far I believe we’ re agreed that we need to do X, Y and Z before we can go further. Is that your understanding? ” (Tung 29-43) Learning active listening skills will enable you to get to the core issues and resolve problems more quickly than reacting with advice to what the other person has to say.
What you heard may not be what they meant. The only way you will know for sure is to ask clarifying questions and receive feedback. Benefits Learning to use active listening in emotional situations is a critical skill set that can be applied across the board in personal as well as professional situations. Interpersonal skills are at the top of the list of deficits many professionals have because they focus so much on honing their technical skills. (Considine 166-78)
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Wright, P. and McMahan, G. (2003) 'Theoretical Perspectives for Strategic Human Resource Management', Journal of Management, 18 (2): 295-320.