Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Sound Advice to Ensure Your Career Growth

Careergrowth is what everyone is aspiring for and you may not be an exception. But do you have one of the key traits that can help you have the growth that you are aiming at? We are talking about what is known as "active listening." If you think that the process of active listening is to just pay attention to what the speakers and more particularly, your boss, peers, co-workers and subordinates are uttering, you are terribly wrong. In fact, the process of active listening mainly consists of being very alert while listening. This is much more than just paying attention to what others speak. The process actually involves showing verbal as well as non-verbal signs so the speakers know that you are not only paying attention but digesting and assimilating whatever they are uttering.

Researches have proved that on an average, a person can talk 225 words a minute. But all of us have capabilities of listening up to 500 words a minute. This means we allow 275 words from various other sources to fill our minds. This is what distraction is. If you want to actively listen, you must make purposeful efforts to avoid succumbing to such distractions.

Of course, there may be another reason that may be preventing you from listening actively to others and the reason is our "ego." Many of us want that we should be in the spotlight and hence, we try to speak more than we listen. In this process, we do not allow others to speak. But how can active listening help you? Let us have a look. 

1.When you are actively listening, you will be able to come out with apt responses to what others speak. Speakers and especially, your boss, may appreciate you for your feedback. In fact, your feedback will prove to the speakers that you are able to understand and assimilate what they speak. So, they may think that you are smart.

2. In addition to being considered a smart person, you may earn the reputation of being a charismatic person as well. As the saying goes, “The irony of being a good conversationalist is that talking isn’t the most important piece; listening is what makes you memorable.”

3. Sometimes, peers and subordinates may approach you with their issues. Though not all of them may want you to provide solutions, some of them may expect that you should be empathetic towards the issues they face. You can lend your empathetic ears only if you actively listen to them and understand their issues in the right perspective.

But how can you become an actively listener? Here are a few tips.

1. Once your boss, peers or subordinates finish talking, you can paraphrase whatever they have spoken and repeat it. Your summary need not be elaborate. It is enough if it is brief. Experts point out that when you attempt this, the creative part of your brain gets triggered and so, you may be able to come out with new ideas and suggestions. There is another advantage as well. Your boss and others will come to know that you have understood their points in the right manner.

2. Another approach is to ask relevant questions about the topics about which people speak. This will also show your enthusiasm and interest. It may help you in getting clarity about the topics as well. More particularly, your boss will appreciate that you have understood the importance of the tasks that are being assigned.

In this context, it is pertinent to imagine a particular scenario. Let us assume that your boss assigns a few tasks to you and while discussing about the tasks, he appears to lay emphasis on a couple of tasks by repeatedly mentioning about them. By asking your boss if you have to accord priority to those specific tasks, you can clearly show to your boss that your line of thinking is in tune with what he thinks. Apart from helping you in strengthening your relationship with him, this may pave way for a quicker career growth also. 

3. In addition to the above verbal responses, you should have natural eye contact when your boss or others speak. Other non-verbal responses are keeping an appropriate posture, nodding, smiling, etc. These responses should show to the speakers that you agree with the views or points put forth by them.

In a nutshell, active listening is certain to help you in your efforts to impress your boss and so, you can rest assured that it will accelerate your career growth.

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