The Importance of Good Listening Skills

There are many benefits to this process of listening. The first is that good listeners are created as people feel listened to. Listening is a reciprocal process - we become more attentive to others if they have attended to us.
— Margaret J. Wheatley

Do you remember the game in school where the teacher whispered a message to a student, and then it was passed around the room from one student to another? By the time the last student spoke the message aloud it was completely changed. This seemed to be a fun game when you were a child, but not so much in business and the workplace.

The importance of good listening skills in the world of business cannot be ignored. It is one of the most valuable skills any phone agent can have. They must be able to listen to fully understand how to help the caller, and be able to collect the proper information. An operator who appreciates and understands the value of listening is much more competent and efficient at their job. The average person listens with only 25% efficiency. This leaves a lot of room for error, and to miss valuable information. More effective listening creates better productivity and more success.

There are ways to improve your listening. One way is by reflecting. This refers to showing the speaker that you are listening to them and understand what they are telling you. The best way to do this is by paraphrasing back to the speaker what they have told you. Another way to improve listening skills is to eliminate distractions around you. Be present in the moment that the person is speaking to you. Always ask good questions. Good follow up questions demonstrate an interest in what the speaker has said, and helps can help you to better understand a complicated situation.