Supervisory Leadership

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How can you improve your listening skills?

The most important thing you can do is decide that it's important. Before you chat with someone, remind yourself that you want to listen better, which means that you want to do a better job of understanding that person's messages.

You can take a course. The best are those based on Active Listening, a technique developed by Xerox years ago. I prefer courses to books, because this is a skill that takes practice and feedback. You can't get that from a book.

Good listening involves paying attention to non-verbal messages, so learn about that as well. Some experts say that non-verbal components are far more important to communication than verbal ones.

Do something that will help you listen better. Try taking notes, or recapping the conversation in a follow-up email.

There's not a lot to master here, a few basic skills will do the trick.


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