Today, listening is one of the most valued soft-skills in business. Many studies show that professionals spend between 50% and 60% of their time listening and that 70% of conversations are considered unclear.
Listening is an art, listening is not just hearing… we talk about active listening, which requires a great cognitive effort, training and commitment. Here are the 5 obstacles to listening that you should know and how to avoid them.
1. Lack of willpower
Sometimes people may not want to listen for certain reasons, for example, to avoid bad news. How can we prepare ourselves to hear something we may not like? One solution is to imagine all possible scenarios and try to find solutions. This way you will be psychologically prepared to hear the bad news because your brain will tell itself that nothing worse can happen than what you have imagined.
2. Physical barriers
It goes without saying…it is impossible to listen when there is noise. You should always make sure that your environment is suitable for listening, as much as possible. But there is also our inner noise. Although getting distracted is a totally human reaction, the most important thing is to realise this and to return to the conversation and concentrate again quickly. And if we have missed some information, we can try to paraphrase the other person to make sure we are going in the right direction.
We have all noticed that listening can be boring and tiring, especially if we have no interest in the conversation. We feel like slipping away and we start thinking about something else… How can we stay motivated? You need to have a purpose, an important goal that you want to achieve, no matter how trivial it is. For each message from the person you are talking to, ask yourself what is in it for you.
Your disagreement on a subject may lead you to refuse and no longer want to listen to your interlocutor. In this case, it is important to take a step back and control your emotions. Then try to identify with the person you are talking to in order to listen better.
5. Lack of time
When we lack time, we tend to jump to conclusions and make unfounded decisions. We need to take the time to always listen with the details and avoid errors of judgement. At the Labo Coworking, listening to others is very important to us. It strengthens our community and the development of all laborantins.
So however you want to express yourself, we are ready to listen! 👂