8 Bad Listening Habits That Can Sidetrack Your Next Career
Eight Poor Listening Habits That Can Sidetrack Your Next Career
Listening is a vital business skill, yet most of us have such underdeveloped listening skills that we fail to retain 75% of what we hear. The following poor habits cost businesses millions of dollars in mistakes and lost productivity. They can also retard your own career advancement if you are unable to recognize and correct them. How many of these apply to you?
Reacting to the speaker’s appearance and speech mannerisms. It’s easy to be distracted by a speaker’s looks, attire, age, or mannerisms. Poor listeners refuse to make the effort to overcome personal biases that block objective reception.
Failing to control distractions. Some listeners yield easily to external and internal distractions. They fail to control or block out surrounding noises, or they fail to resist thoughts that interfere with their concentrations.
Listening to evaluate rather than to understand. Too often we listen only to determine if the speaker’s ideas fit our frame of reference and beliefs. Listening for immediate evaluation interferes with hearing and understanding the speaker’s ideas.
Daydreaming and pretending to listen. We all know how to fix our gaze and look intently at the speaker while hearing nothing of what is being said. This pseudo listening is one of the most serious of the bad listening habits.
Assuming the speaker wants input or advice. Some listeners feel compelled to interrupt a speaker with comments like “Well, here’s what I think about it” or “What you ought to do is…” Unless the speaker requests it, keep our advice to yourself.
Waiting to jump in and grab the limelight. Too many listeners are uncomfortable in the role; they much prefer speaking. The result? They fail to concentrate on what’s being said, and instead are mentally preparing their next comments to be interjected at the first pause.
Listening for facts only. Failing to observe nonverbal cues can be crucial in one to one conversations. Poor listeners fail to pick up on voice intonation, eye movement, and body language. These cues help skilful listeners detect subtle meaning.
Employers value effective communication skills because good communicators make and save money. Boost your employability by brushing up on your career skills. Do you need some extra help? Contact one of our career coaches for a one-on-one session.