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Listening - Your Communication Superpower

Listening - Your Communication Superpower

Everyone speaks about critical communication skills, but good communication isn’t just about talking to people but also listening to them. This under-taught skill may have lapsed in use and practice in the aftermath of Covid-19 but can be improved with proven tips and methods. Whether you are an individual contributor or someone who has people reporting to you, leveling up your listening can supercharge your career. Let’s discover active listening, the importance of nonverbal communication cues, and how to hone your empathic abilities to make you the finest teammate and leader you can be.


April 24, 2023

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  1. …and starts sharing, asking for help on new tickets and

    asking lots of questions. Persistently All the time !!???
  2. Doesn’t listen Is not respectful Can’t do her own work

    Not working well together on the team
  3. @[email protected] Drawbacks of bad communication • Communication failures can cause

    problems with the people we interact with the most • Can cause problems at work • Possibly emotional distress and loneliness
  4. @[email protected] Benefits • Help others feel connected to you •

    Positively influence relationships • It helps people feel heard, understood, cared for and respected • Coworkers are more likely to collaborate • Clients may prefer you over others who do not take the time to listen • Become a better leader
  5. @[email protected] Definition of Active Listening Psychologists Carl Rogers and Richard

    Farson developed the concept of active listening in a 1957 paper. They defined the term “Active Listening” as a skill that requires few actions: • Listening for the full meaning of a message • Responding to emotions • Noticing nonverbal communications
  6. @[email protected] “ ” Carl R. Rogers and Richard E. Farson

    Listening brings about changes in peoples attitudes toward themselves and others…
  7. @[email protected] Messages have two components • The content of the

    message • The feeling or attitude underlying the content
  8. What could have helped the engineer? Listen to the full

    meaning of the messages her coworkers are trying to say!
  9. @[email protected] Empathy! • Ability to sense another person’s feelings and

    imagine what it’s like to be in their position • By understanding another person emotions, you can acknowledge and respond • Without empathy we are less capable of responding to others • By noticing a person’s emotion, this lets them know the emotional part of the message is heard
  10. Going back to our frustrated co-worker “Finally, I wrapped up

    that stupid ticket where I had to work on the front end”
  11. University Bills College Debt Health Insurance Rent Commuting Bars Cheap

    Furniture Crappy Apartments Roommates Laundry Taxes Car Insurance Real Life
  12. Reviewing requirements Design an application Configure application Build application Test

    application Design Code reviews Fix any defects Performance problems Create technical documentation All the responsibilities for a software engineer… but where is the part about working well on a team?
  13. @[email protected] What is Nonverbal Communication • Also called paralanguage •

    Any type of language that doesn’t use words • Aka body language…
  14. @[email protected] Nonverbal communication • As a listener, what should you

    pay attention to? • Inflection of their voice, posture, facial expression and eye contact • Does the speaker stress certain points? • Are you speaking loudly or softly?
  15. @[email protected] Nonverbal communication • Nonverbal cues a listener can use

    • mhmm • ahh • Head nods • Posture • Eye contact
  16. @[email protected] Just as important on video calls as in person

    • Leave your camera on! • Showing you are listening is missing with a lot of remote meetings • You can demonstrate that same nonverbal communication in your remote interactions
  17. @[email protected] To clarify your understanding, paraphrase! • Just check if

    you understood the speaker correctly, in your own words. • This is a feedback loop! • Helps helps boost the effectiveness of nonverbal communication • Together, paraphrasing and nonverbal language leave listener feeling more understood and satisfied with the interactions
  18. Could this have helped the engineer? Yes, clarified understanding in

    conversations. Coworkers would feel heard, she would then leave them more satisfied with interactions
  19. @[email protected] Emotional Labeling • Helpful for communicator and listener •

    When the emotion has been recognized for what it is, then it can be validated! • Have you ever felt mad about something? Then felt guilty about being mad? • This happens when you don’t think you should feel something you feel! • When emotions are accepted, they are validated. • With active listening, the goal is allow others to express emotions and opinions. • The speaker has a right to feel the way they do, or believe in what they do
  20. @[email protected] “ ” Carl R. Rogers and Richard E. Farson

    Because listening reduces the threat of having one’s ideas criticized, the person is better able to see them for what they are and is more likely to feel that his contributions are worthwhile.
  21. @[email protected] Roadblocks Judging - When you have your mind full

    of judgements, you can’t listen to the opinions of others To help, practice empathy Patronizing - Don’t be that patronizing coworker, people are less likely to want to be around you. Help can be provided with respect and treating others as equals Topping - Taking over a conversation or being the person who as to “top” the other. If you want to add to the conversation, add something to it, don’t just try to be the most interesting person in the room Distraction - If you are distracted while in a conversation, people will notice. Be honest if you have something taking away your concentration, and then try to remove it (aka. Put down your phone) Word vomit - Speaking without a filter. This may hurt someones feelings Pay attention to the words you choose
  22. @[email protected] Obstacles to listening • Physical noise • External sounds

    • Physiological noise • Biological impairments • Semantic noise • Understanding the meaning • Psychological noise • Mental or emotional factors
  23. @[email protected] All things that were impacting the engineer • Physical

    noise • New to open concept! • Semantic noise • New tech stack + new industry == all new acronyms • Psychological noise • Frustration was getting in the way of seeing solutions
  24. Active listening shows “I respect your thoughts, and even if

    I don’t agree with them, I know that they are valid for you.”
  25. @[email protected] Christine Seeman Who am I? 🌽 lifetime learner from

    Omaha, NE 📚 likes to read too much 🥙🍜🍛 eats food that probably took too long to prepare Professionally solving problems on the CI/CD team at WP Engine christine-seeman.com @[email protected]
  26. 👏 Thanks 👏 Connectaha 2023 organizers and volunteers Tyson Reeder

    for slide design guidance and review (he’s the best) Graphics from: blush.design freepik.com vecteezy.com