office dynamics Oct 10, 2019

Whether we admit it or not, active listening is an acquired skill. Most often when we are listening to someone we are listening to respond, not listening to hear and understand what the other person is telling us.

This month at Whole Assistant is about upping our game as assistants by becoming better listeners. I realize active listening may seem simple but believe me when I say it’s a lot harder in practice. If you’ve ever tried to understand someone you have a disagreement with then you know exactly what I mean.

Benefits of Active Listening in the Workplace

This post is the first half of a 2 part series about listening. In this video, I’ll walk you through 3 benefits of active listening. Next week I’ll share with you my tried & true tips for becoming a better listener. 

Check out this video and be sure to leave a comment below letting me know other benefits of active listening.

Check out the video:

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Check out the transcription:

Hey guys, I'm Annie of and today we are talking all about active listening. And I feel like active listening can often go overlooked in our skillset as assistants, so today I'm actually going to share with you the three benefits of listening in a more active way and not listening just to respond. So often we listen, and the wheels are turning, and we don't actually take in all that the person we're listening to is actually intending for us to take in. Instead, we're constantly considering how we're going to respond. So I'm just going to discuss three things that will help us to understand why this topic is so important. And then next week I'm going to discuss three things that will help us become better active listeners.

So the first benefit I have found with regards to active listening and becoming a better active listener, is that it opens us up to other points of view and to other ways of thinking about things. So much of my personal growth has come from a willingness to actively listen to other points of view and consider the possibilities that I otherwise wouldn't have. So when I'm confronted with a new point of view, if I actually take a step back, instead of getting defensive, if I take a step back and actually listen to what that person is saying, I found it has really helped with my own personal growth. As well as my professional growth and development as well. And so often we don't listen to understand, we listen to respond. So this is a great way to avoid that. If you could just take a step back and to consider other points of view.

And another benefit is that it makes us more productive and effective assistants. If we are listening with the intent of helping, with the intent of problem-solving, with the intent of taking in all the information, and we really, really are paying attention to what is going on, that can only make us a better assistant. And I know for myself, oftentimes I'll get going through my day and I'll just be going, going, going, and I actually won't take the time to actually listen to what's being asked of me. And then I can miss some things. And we don't want to drop things. We're assistants. We love to help and be helpful. We look to be thorough as well. So a good way to do that is to actually be engaged with what is going on around us so that we can better help and serve everyone around us and our executive.

And then also the third benefit of active listening is that it deepens our relationships with our colleagues, with our coworkers, with everyone really. If you, I mean, you guys know what I'm talking about. You probably have been in a situation where you've been trying to talk to somebody and they've only been kind of half-engaged with you. Maybe they'd been on their phone. Maybe they'd been distracted. And we know how that feels, right? So we really need to be intentional about actively listening to people because it will deepen our relationship with them. And I found that when I'm actively listening to my executive, that strengthens our relationship too, which is phenomenal. We always want stronger relationships with our executive, or at least I do. I'm always striving to make sure that I am keeping up, staying engaged. And I've also found that it's helped me problem solve better because I'm actually understanding what it is he's asking of me or what the situation actually is, instead of putting my own spin on it.

So those are three benefits of becoming a more active listener and they are, I'm going to review, it opens us up to consider other points of view. It makes us a more productive assistant, and effective assistant as well. And it deepens our working relationships. So if you can think of another benefit of active listening, please leave a comment below. I'd be really curious to know what other forms of active listening, or what other benefits of active listening, you found for yourself in your career as an assistant. Okay, guys, that's all for now. Look forward to speaking with you next week. When I'm going to discuss three ways we can become better active listeners to improve our careers and to make us better assistants. All right, guys, that's all. Bye for now.



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