For leaders and teams, listening is a master skill for the development of productive relationships. Committees, boards, teams, and companies exist as group communication spaces. Whether the objective is improving margins, growing a brand, developing outreach, or another common goal, clear dialogue within a group is key to facilitating shared progress. 

Productive Teams Develop the Skill of Effective Listening

Group members, though they may not agree, should understand one another’s perspectives. In a group space where opinions are respected, diversity is valued, and quality ideas are the true currency, growth and development happen. Open dialogue, the exchange of ideas, and constructive communication push teams forward. The goal is to minimize static. Teams that listen effectively, and communicate well, produce results because their human expertise flows within them free of obstacles. Thankfully, the way individuals and teams listen to one another is not set in stone and can be developed. 

Improved Listening Skills Can Be Attained, With Time

Rapport and understanding are grounded in effective listening and patience with others. Skilled listeners wait, their attention is paid to the content of expression, both verbal and non-verbal. They recognize that the speaker and their message deserve respect, comprehension, and retention. They affirm their listening with various kinds of feedback, letting the speaker know the listener is engaged. Skilled listeners exercise a kind of active patience, demonstrate attention to the speaker’s message, and retain its meaning before they respond.

Listen Effectively, Achieve Greatly

Intuitively we know, rapport builds trust. Individuals and groups that display honest rapport have the opportunity to be emotionally and intellectually responsive, rather than reactive. They have the opportunity to be collaborative rather than combative about ideas, and they are thoughtful and mature, rather than petulant or juvenile, in their decisions. And for successful listeners and communicators in all manners of industry, thoughtful, empathic attention to the message of others is the first, great step.

Further Reading

“Active Listening” Carl Rogers, Richard Farson, 1957