You’re Not Listening!

(Looks like it’s time for my annual rant about poor listening skills in the workplace.)

As workplace communicators, we obviously spend a lot of time each day communicating verbally. Therefore, we spend a lot of time listening … or should. Problem is, we don’t listen very well. Especially those of us Type A Driver Entrepreneurs. Sound familiar? We regularly fall victim to one or more of these seven Barriers to Listening:

1. Ruling out the speaker“He is of no interest to me.” She has nothing to say. Why listen?”

2. Reaching a premature conclusion – “I’ve heard enough to know where he’s going with this argument. I’ve heart it before and it’s all wrong.”

3. Reading in expectations“I know what you’re going to say, I can finish your sentence when you pause.”

4. Reading in threats“I know you didn’t mean that … you couldn’t have said it … you didn’t say it.”

5. Rehearsing a response“I am preparing what I want to say. I’m just waiting until you pause so I can break in.”

6. Responding with evaluation“The way you say it is a) clever, b) creative, c) crude. I am more interested in the way you say it than what you are saying.”

7. Rejecting the person“You come on too strong. I don’t need to listen further.”

Now that you’re listening to why you don’t listen better, tune in next month for helpful techniques to improve your listening skills.