June 19, 2018

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Applying Good Listening Skills

One of the things candidates look for in a recruiter is a good rapport. It means that in most cases, the relationship you have with the client is a more honest and ethical one and they will enjoy working with you. Also, a good rapport with candidates means you most likely have a good rapport with hiring managers and HR personnel that results in a more productive relationship.

One of the things a candidate will look for when evaluating your rapport are your listening skills and how well you understand what they are telling you. Good listening skills is an evolving process that takes practice. Are you a good listener?

  • Do you interrupt people before they finish their sentences?
  • Do you think about what you want to say, or think of something else, while the other person is talking?
  • Do you rarely ask questions in a conversation and often answer questions?
  • Do you have selective hearing (hearing only what you want to hear, or just the facts, while ignoring the rest)?
  • Do you interrupt others in order to get a point across?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, you should work on your skills. Know that you aren't alone though. While most people think they are good listeners, many are not. Once you recognize you need to build your listening skills, you can start working on becoming an effective listener.

Below are some ways in which to improve your listening skills. This is not something that can only be practiced at work, but also in your everyday life. It can help you communicate effectively with everyone around you.

Give others your attention
There are many different ways to show you are actively listening. Show the other person that you are interested in what they have to say by smiling, looking them in the eye, and encouraging others to listen quietly if there is more than just you and them in the conversation. Doing this will encourage the speaker to say more. Once the speaker has gotten her point across, wait a few seconds before replying to give you time to think about what was said and reply appropriately.

Focus on the other person
Every conversation can be used as a learning experience. It is a good way to learn about others. If you listen with an open mind and don't interrupt when they are talking, you can learn a lot of things about someone. Listen to them without giving your opinion, but focusing on learning and understanding their point. You can also make them feel heard by rephrasing what they said to be sure you understood them. If not, you can ask more questions about the topic of conversation.

Listen with an open mind
It is human nature to resist information that conflicts with what we believe. When hearing something we disagree with, we almost always start formulating responses that may obscure what the speaker wants us to understand. You should resist doing this and focus instead on whether or not you truly comprehend what the other person is trying to say.

Developing good listening skills takes a lot of practice and patience but is well worth the effort. If you don't have the ability to listen effectively, then you cannot communicate and the candidate may think you lack interpersonal skills that wouldn't be conducive to a successful rapport with them or clients. How you interact with your colleagues and clients can mean the difference between filling a position, and not.