In the workplace, effective communication is crucial. The issue is that many people overlook some critical components of effective communication, a situation that can potentially lead to misunderstandings or conflicts that could genuinely be avoided.
Luckily, by honing a specific skill – empathetic listening – you can dramatically elevate your communication capabilities. Not only can empathetic listening skills boost your career, but they can benefit all aspects of your life. If you wonder what empathetic listening is and how it can help you thrive, here’s what you need to know.
What Empathetic Listening Is
Empathetic listening is an approach to communication that focuses on deeply understanding the perspective of another. Along with listening to the words a person uses, empathetic listening also requires a little bit of reading between the lines, allowing you to glean the intent behind what’s being said.
Additionally, empathetic listening concentrates on forging connections. It’s highly similar to active listening and requires understanding the other person on an emotional level, making it easier to get insights into their motivations, perspectives, and needs.
Once you learn more about the person’s emotional experience, you’ll have an easier time empathizing with their position. Putting yourself into their shoes won’t be as challenging, leading to a greater overall understanding of the situation.
How Empathetic Listening Benefits You
Empathetic listening is a powerful skill that can benefit you in various ways, both on professional and personal levels. First, it can help you forge stronger relationships with those around you. You’ll have an easier time understanding others, and that can lead to great trust and respect.
Second, you’ll become more aware of how feelings influence communication. This can lead to better emotional intelligence, as well as improvements to your collaboration skills. Understanding a person’s motivations and perspective on matters is useful, particularly when you need to reach a consensus or resolve conflict.
Finally, empathetic listening promotes inclusivity. You can understand the perspective of another with greater ease, all without judgment for those whose backgrounds differ from your own. In turn, this leads to an environment where everyone feels safe, respected, and valued, a situation that can improve communication and collaboration.
How to Improve Your Empathetic Listener Skills
If you want to become a better empathetic listener, the first step is to be mindful of where you place your attention. As with active listening, you want to focus on the speaker, ensuring you don’t let your mind wander during the conversation.
After that, learning to key into body language is crucial, and practicing tracking subtle cues like adjustments in a person’s pitch or cadence. Additionally, getting comfortable with asking clarifying, open-ended questions is a must, as well as summarizing what was shared to ensure you fully understand.
By using those approaches, you can improve as an empathetic listener. If you would like to learn more about skills that can boost your career and prove valuable in your daily life, the team at The Advance Group wants to hear from you. Contact us today.