How many times a day do you find yourself in a conversation with someone and catch yourself more focused on how you’re going to respond, rather than actually listening and digesting what the other person is saying? This is something that we all do, even if we don’t notice it at the time. Below we have compiled a few tips about how you can use listening to drive your career forward.
Understanding and Analysis
Say your boss tasks you with giving a presentation to the board of directors at the quarterly budget meeting. If all they tell you is to give a report, you don’t exactly know what they’re specifically hoping to have you discuss in your presentation. So you ask a series of questions to garner more detail about what this presentation should be about.
While asking these questions, you’re paying attention as to what types of messaging you should be including and analyzing what key points your boss wants you to emphasize. You’re using this information to help you formulate your presentation’s direction, as well as the best way to deliver the content.
By listening to what your audience is looking for, you now have a more clear roadmap on how best to provide them with that knowledge. You also have a more clear picture about the expectations for the presentation.
Emotional and logical connection
By listening, you are able to further develop an emotional and logical connection with another person or an audience. Our world moves so fast around us, that oftentimes, people can be left feeling unheard or simply like they are shouting into the void. By truly listening and digesting what someone is saying, you are able to establish an emotional and logical connection with them, which helps show that you care about them and what they have to say.
Not only does this build rapport and further a relationship, but it also helps establish trust. If your boss knows that they can trust you because you take the time to break things down simply by listening and analyzing what you are being told, this opens up a world of opportunities, whether that positions you to become the go-to office problem solver, or helps you get your foot in the door for a recent C-Suite opening at your company.
We’ve already discussed a few ways about how listening can help you move forward in your career, but perhaps one of the most important things listening helps us do is to see how our content and messaging is affecting our target.
If you’re in a sales meeting and you are talking the entire time, how will you ever know if the client is interested in your product or services? By pausing and listening to what they have to say, you can get an understanding about how your content is affecting them and can see if you need to reevaluate your approach or not.
The more you listen, the better you are able to understand how you can help meet your client’s needs, and the more information you will have to prepare to help them see why you and your product or service is the best option for them.
With the insight provided in this article, you are perfectly prepared to become a more active and engaged listener. Not only will this help your coworkers, clients, and bosses feel heard and understood, but it may just help you create the pathway to your next promotion. For more information about how listening can help you in your professional career, check out our Storytelling Master Course
on our website.