Development Cooperation Handbook/Designing and Executing Projects/Communication Management/Listening and Feedback/Effective and Poor Listening

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Steps and Tools

One of the fundamental aspects of effective communication is good listening. Listening shows that leaders value employees and their opinions. When subordinates see that their advice and opinions are taken into account they are further encouraged to share and often feel motivated to innovate and contribute in ways that they may not have otherwise. Listening to external stakeholders is also essential. The more you understand what external stakeholders need, the better able you will be to meet their needs. The primary method for gaining understanding is listening effectively. For example, if you do not listen to the needs and or concerns of your beneficiaries in a effective market, they will look elsewhere to find a utility that will meet their needs.  Listening is crucial at every level of the organization. Everyday you may be required to listen to any number of internal (superiors, subordinates, colleagues, and labor representatives) or external stakeholders (government officials, media, stockholders, or members of the financial community) regarding Organization, its problems, concerns, new ideas, assignments and more. With this in mind, let’s look at the listening situations that impact the productivity of any organization:

Poor Listening And Communication Effective Listening And Communication
Talk Listen
Persuade others to act Discern other’s needs
Focus on work issues Focus on “big picture”
Cultivate impersonality Cultivate face-to-face contact
Assign next task Celebrate completed task
Direct message to “head” Direct message to whole person
Answer questions Ask questions
Control information flow Share information freely

See also[edit | edit source]

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