Have you ever wished you knew the secret to climbing the corporate ladder fast? If so, you may find the answer you are looking for today. Believe it or not, one of the secrets to quickly scaling the corporate ladder is learning to be a great listener. Is this simple? Absolutely. Is it easy? Not for everyone.
Learning to Listen Is the Secret to Moving Up the Corporate Ladder
Hardly anything will move you forward in your career faster than being a wonderful listener. In her article How Listening Can Improve Workplace Performance, Lisa Mooney wrote, “Concentrate on listening at work and you should see benefits such as increased productivity, faster progress toward goals, and more congenial relationships…” Notably, and also obviously, there is no better, quicker way to get in someone’s good graces than to caringly listen to him or her. Undoubtedly, good listening skills will make all the difference in landing that promotion you want.
Listening is an invaluable soft skill that all employees should possess. However, the cold, hard truth is that not every worker is a good listener. It’s not an overstatement to claim that the majority of people, employed or not, are poor listeners. What kind of listener are you?
What Kind of Listener Are You?
In order to make the progress in your career that you want to make, you’ll need to assess your listening skills. You can do this by asking yourself a couple of questions…
— “During conversations, do I listen to understand or listen only to form my reply?” – Listening to form a response is a telltale sign that someone is a bad listener. We all do this to an extent. But if your main goal in a conversation is to be heard and understood, not to understand what you are hearing, your ability to effectively listen is probably not as good as it has the potential to be.
— “Do people tell me their struggles, victories, and stories?” – Good listeners draw talkers. If people are constantly seeking you out for counsel, your listening skills may be sufficient.
How to Become a Better Listener at Work
Those wanting to rapidly climb the corporate ladder can start doing so today by sharpening their listening skills. One way to do this is to look someone in the eyes while he or she is talking. This is an easy method of building connection and staying engaged in what is being said. Another way is to unplug from social media and mobile devices during a conversation. This will help you steer clear of impossibly tempting distractions and truly understand the speaker. Also, gleaning from materials designed to make you a better listener will be beneficial. One helpful resource is the popular TED Talk Becoming a Good Listener. Another is the easy-to-read workplace success manual Workplace Expectations. In it, authors Wade Miller and Richard Brodeur list additional surefire tips for zooming up the corporate ladder.
Wanting to progress in your career is a positive goal. It is also one that can only be attained by learning to become an exceptional listener. Exemplary listening skills are well within your reach if you are willing to look people in the eye when they are talking, unplug from social media during conversations, and seek resources crafted to build listening skills. Which of these actions do you think would benefit you most?
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