Tips for Listening Skills - Forbes Article
Tips for Listening Skills
Read an enlightening article on Forbes’ site outlining the importance of listening for anyone in a leadership position.
As a company that designs Corporate Workshops for our clients in the Dallas-area, the core principle of active listening is a main focus during these sessions.
“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” states Dr. Ralph Nichols, a pioneer in the study and development of the field of listening.
The article, Three Ways Improv Comedy Can Improve Your Listening Skills, written by Kathleen Taylor-Gadsby, underscores the importance of being a good listener and how that skill is essential to being a good leader and a good team member. Without it, it is virtually impossible to have a cohesive team.
Can you guess where else being a very good listener is a critical skill? Improv!
Great improv can only happen when everyone involved is actively listening to their colleagues.
As we always highlight when working with groups – a successful improvisor also practices active listening. Through improvisation, you understand the importance of not only listening, but understanding before reacting.
Kathleen highlights three ideas that anyone can implement to help them become a better listener, which automatically makes you a better teammate.
One of her tips is to embrace the tried and true foundation of improv…”Yes, and”
As Kathleen writes, “ “Yes, and” creates a partnership. It continues the conversation and augments it with new information or perspective. It can also encourage more creativity from everyone involved as you explore what is possible. The “yes” in this phrase does not necessarily indicate complete alignment; instead, it opens the door for more.”
She also looks at “Give-and-Take” as another tip, writing “in the workplace, the idea of give-and-take allows everyone a chance to speak, to explain, to rebut and to collaborate. As the originator of an idea, I may take the lead in opening the dialogue. After I have made my key points (remember, this is not a monologue), I stay quiet so that my partner or team can weigh in with their thoughts. This is the time in which each voice should be heard as you intentionally create space for each person to express their thoughts.
You can read the full article - “How Improv can Improve Your Team and Leadership Skills”
As a teammate, or a leader of a team, think about how you are engaging with your colleagues. Are you actively listening to what’s being said and understanding before reacting? Do your teammates feel you’re engaged and giving them your full support? Does your team feel empowered to contribute their ideas and feedback in an environment that will accept and respect what’s being offered?
If you feel your team could use some work in these areas, looking at a Team Building Workshop might be worth a look.
Learn more about how we help our clients build stringer teams and leaders:
We also suggest our friend’s from Dad’s Garage in Atlanta as an option for a workshop if you’re in that area.