How to Sharpen Your Listening Skills | Improve your Listening skills! |

Here are three tips for sharpening your listening skills.

Don’t multitask. We live in a world of smartphone and computer alerts. Resist the temptation to check in every time one goes off. Studies show that our productivity drops by 10 percent whenever our focus is interrupted by unrelated sounds, so you’re better off checking messages later. Meanwhile, respect your colleagues by giving them your undivided attention when they are speaking to you.Repeat what you hear. Studies show [PDF] that we only retain about half of what we hear, and our retention rate drops to about 25 percent a few days later. By practicing active listening techniques, we can hold onto more of that information — and put it to better use. Simply listen to what a person says and then repeat it back. (Paraphrasing is OK.) This has two benefits: It illustrates that you’ve heard what someone has said, and it ensures that you’ve understood the message as intended.Ask questions. While someone is sharing information with you, ask questions related to the topic at hand. This demonstrates that you’re listening and forces you to remain an active part of the conversation. Great leaders actively solicit feedback from employees, and great employees show they are engaged in projects by asking questions that will improve their odds of success.

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Via Charles Tiayon