MICROLESSON ON COMMUNICATION & PERSUASION
Active Listening for Engaging Communications
Active listening is the process by which an individual acquires information from another individual or group. Listening is an essential communication skill. It is a vital skill for anybody working in any industry to develop. It is effective during job interviews, meetings, brainstorming sessions etc.
Active listening is a soft skill held in high regard by employers. When interviewing for jobs, using active listening techniques can highlight your interpersonal skills. Active listening focuses on the needs of your prospective employer or interviewer rather than what is in your head.
There are plenty of active listening techniques that you can utilise in job interviews or meetings. They include:
- Building trust and establishing rapport
- Demonstrating concern
- Paraphrasing to show understanding
- Using nonverbal cues that show that you understand—nodding, eye contact, and leaning forward.
- Brief verbal affirmations like “I see,” “I know,” “Sure,” “Thank you,” or “I understand”.
- Asking open-ended questions
- Asking specific questions to seek clarification.
- Waiting to disclose your opinion.
Building trust and establishing rapport: “I was really impressed to read on your website the amount of transactions you processed last year.”
Demonstrating concern: “I’m eager to help to your new mandate on enrolling more unbanked people.”
Paraphrasing: “So, you think that we need to build up our social media marketing efforts.”
Brief verbal affirmation: “Thank you. I appreciate your time in speaking to me.”
Asking open-ended questions: What changes would you like to see in your branding?”
Asking specific questions: “How long do you expect your hiring process to last?”
Waiting to disclose your opinion: “Tell me more about your proposal to reorganise the marketing department.”
Soft skills like active listening are often the deciding factor in hiring decisions, especially when the potential hire lacks work experience or communication talents.