Can you hear me? Are you listening? These are two very different questions.
Can you hear me? Relates to volume, loudness and identifying sounds.
Are you listening? Goes deeper. It means are you ready to pick up sound and meaning?
‘You’re not listening’ is a chief complaint affecting good communication in the workplace. Check your listening skills to facilitate good listening and better communication.
- Let the speaker complete what he/she is saying without interruption
- Repeat the words you hear if you are uncertain
- Check that you have grasped what the speaker said by confirming their meaning – ‘Do you mean…?’ ‘Are you saying…?’
- Listen to the explanation given
- Note the emotion that colours how the words are spoken
- Respond to this emotion
- Discover what the speaker really wants. It may be that someone making a complaint wants fast, friendly service, not just a replacement of a broken item.
Be patient with people for whom English is not their first language.
Respect their efforts to be understood