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  • Writer's pictureClara Wajngurt

Are you a good listener?

Being a great listener(Chronicle of Higher Education, May 24,2019) is essential for most jobs..Being able to hear and understand what people are saying through their words, tone, manner and body language is vital for succeeding in any management and leadership position.

We need to learn the basics of listening to others!

Don't just listen-show you are listening - Many people have habits like wandering eyes, fidgeting, tapping fingers, etc., cutting off a speaker in mid-sentence--it is important for the person whom you are talking to, to perceive you are listening.if you jump into a cut-off sentence-you appear as impatient, inattentive and a poor listener.Often people want acknowledgement that someone cared enough to listen to what they said.

Identify key words and phrases - Very often people come to your office with long lists of things to say- so in this case stop the speaker at an appropriate point and say-'Let's review what you just said--I see your point about X.' Get the salient points of the conversation.

Try to understand what is implicit-detect codes and symbols - for example, a provost may be hesitant to say to his chair, for political reasons-'your unit is low on the priority list for funding.' Instead the provost will say- 'we need to keep an eye on the budget and we look forward to working with you.' It is very important to read between the lines.

Follow-up - after you have listened and valued the conversation-follow up to see how the person is doing-how they feel after the conversation.

With honed listening skills-we should better handle workplace bullying incidents as they arise.


Please consider my services by looking at my website at or write to me at We offer individual consults as well as workshops for small or large scale groups.

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