It’s important that job seekers possess basic interpersonal skills, but some are more valuable than others. The United States Department of Labor Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) has identified five proficiencies and three foundation skills that are crucial for job seekers. Listening skills were among those on the foundation list. Having good listening skills are essential for landing the job you want.
How you can improve
We should understand first that there is a difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is a physical ability, but listening is a skill that must be learned. To help improve your listening skills right away, try out some of these tactics:
* When someone is speaking to you, lean in towards them slightly. This will not only allow you to hear better, but it also shows them that you’re interested in what they have to say.
* Sit or stand as still as possible as this will help you focus solely on the person in front of you.
* Use non-verbal body language to communicate that you’re paying attention. For example, maintain comfortable eye contact and nod when appropriate.
* After someone has communicated important information, paraphrase or summarize what they have said in your own words. This helps you solidify your own understanding and demonstrates your understanding to them. Plus it gives them an opportunity to correct you if you misunderstood anything important.
Why you need the skill
I guarantee that if you incorporate these things into your daily routine, you will start to notice a difference in the way you listen to people. There are many ways in which this will help in both your personal and professional lives:
* You’ll be able to understand better what is expected of you and how to deliver it.
* It will help build better rapport with bosses and colleagues
* You’ll become a better problem solver and people will look at you as more of a”people person.”
There’s no reason why you can’t improve your listening skills today to create a better you tomorrow!