Here are the rest of the key rules 8-15, that will allow you to hone your listening skills.
8. Be open-minded. Nod to show the speaker that you understand and are in agreement. If you disagree with something and you really want the job, an interview is not the place to vent opposition. Try not to be judgmental.
9. Pay attention to the speaker’s body language. Non-verbal cues can be as important as what is being said.
10. Paraphrase or summarize important points.
11. Don’t change the subject or fail to acknowledge important statements.
12. To be an active listener, you must begin with awareness. Do others get angry with you for poor communication? When do you have problems communicating? How were you listening at these times? It takes guts, but don’t be afraid to ask others what you could do to become a better listener. Others will see your faults much better than you do.
13. According to Michael Purdy, coauthor of Listening in Everyday Life, “To be a successful listener, you must also believe that listening is power. Because our society places so much emphasis on speaking as the way to win friends and influence people, good listeners can quietly have a powerful and subversive impact. You should also remember that speakers have little power without listeners. Speakers share their wisdom and try to persuade, but listeners make meaning of what is heard -- they make the ultimate decision to act on what they hear.”
14. To learn more about effective listening: Read books, visit the International Listening Association’s Web site (www.listen.org) for tips, or take a workshop or class on effective listening. Then be sure to practice what you learn.
15. Finally listen to your heart. Whenever you listen to your heart, you listen to that part of you that is most interested in your well being.
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Author Lawrence Alter is president of L.D.A. Enterprises, Ltd.; a Minneapolis based outplacement and career management firm. He is a recognized expert in career growth techniques. Call (952) 697-3663 or send ideas and questions to: LDA@EmploymentClinic.com