Strategic Listening Skills

In this video I’m going to discuss strategic listening skills, why they’re important, and how they impact your productivity:

Introduction to Strategic Listening #

What are strategic listening skills and what do they have to do with your productivity? You’re probably familiar with the phrase “listening skills”. It really just means being a better listener, listening more fully to the person to get all the information that they’re trying to get across to you.

Strategic listening skills are strategically listening to find out which points that they’re making are more important. Let’s talk about how this works. Most times when we’re listening to someone we’re not really fully there in the moment. We might be thinking about our date tonight. We might be thinking about all the work that we have to do. We might be thinking about how our sports team is doing in the final… any of these kinds of things can detract from listening fully when you’re in front of somebody.

How to be a Better Listener #

So how do you listen more fully? Well, you listen more fully by being fully present in the moment. Take a deep mental cleansing breath as you’re going into your manager’s office or as you’re going on to your next customer to make sure that you’re fully there, fully in the moment. Remove all the other distractions and things that might interrupt you, just to make sure that you can fully listen to what’s going on.

How to be a Strategic Listener #

Strategic listening is within this listening time, listening to what they emphasize. This might be cases where they’re speaking very slowly to emphasize a point. It could be something they’re very passionate about so it comes out stronger.  It could be something where there is a warmth in their voice so you know that it’s something that’s tugging at their emotional heartstrings. Or, it could be something they’re angry about that they’re raising their voice.

Look for what is it that they emphasized, what’s really important to them. They might repeat it multiple times.

Give some thought to how you can implement this strategic listening in your work. How it will help you is you’re not missing details of what your boss wants you to do, or what the customer’s real problem is.

You’re getting more fuller information and you’re understanding what’s important to the person in front of you.  Understanding what is most important to the person that is in front of you helps you deliver to them what is important to them.

– Garland “Captain Time”

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