Active listening is a life skill learned over time through self-awareness, awareness and attention to detail. Applying active listening in the workplace to help improve professional relationships, understand tasks and helps you grow both professionally and personally. In the workplace, communication between colleagues is essential for productivity. If your supervisor is explaining a new workflow process, you need to actively listen to learn how to carry out the process. Active listening requires you to paraphrase what you hear by expressing the same message in different words and often in a much shorter form. Responding to your supervisor with “Let’s see if I’m clear on this,” “So it sounds like…” or “Is that so?” along with a summary of what you heard will ensure and confirm an understanding for you and your supervisor. We had the pleasure of interviewing Marco Valentinsig and Joel Henry, co-founders of the Friulian tech company, which decided to apply active listening for its employees from the first year of activity:
What are the differences between active listeners and passive listeners in a company?
Passive listeners are like tape recorders: they record the words and miss the intent or reason behind the information. If the speaker is providing a clear message, listeners will likely hear most of what is said. Passive listeners are often distracted, looking at a cell phone or going over a to-do list in their head, an activity that draws attention away from the speaker. Active listeners interact with coworkers through nonverbal cues such as eye contact and rephrase or paraphrase what they heard back to coworkers to confirm their understanding of the information. Each team member acknowledges this communication, and the listener repeats the cycle as new information is introduced.
What are the benefits of active listening?
We have certainly reduced the misunderstandings which are the main source of discussion. When you paraphrase what a colleague just said, you are confirming that you understand the message, eliminating the possibility of misunderstandings or misunderstandings. The objective is the well-being of the individual and the group, consequently increasing productivity. By engaging in active listening, each worker is more likely to retain information and understand the nature of the request, situation or task, which could allow tasks to be completed accurately the first time. Furthermore, this allowed us to build real relationships. Active listening can help establish trust, rapport and effective communication between colleagues.
Have you improved the balance between personal and professional life?
Absolutely yes, we understood the roles in specific circumstances thanks also to the definition of the job descriptions. Each Conpac collaborator has the task of being aware of the roles and responsibilities towards himself, relatives and colleagues. What we try to share every day and not work too hard to make a better impression! This method is very widespread in classic companies and among people who wish to advance their career. We usually take on everything that is offered without realizing or valuing our time and abilities. Often, such ill-advised decisions result in overtime, and that’s not good. They commit us not to forget to delegate work to colleagues and assistants. In this way, we not only give other people job opportunities, but also lighten the workload for ourselves. In a work team, it is important to be aware of each employee’s strengths to use time resources wisely. We are frequently inspired by tech giants like Google, in which personal life also finds space within the workplace and vice versa without drastically influencing it because it is administered by rules of common sense and professional rigor. We are a family in which if there is a problem we tackle it together in every way.
It is easy to lose the true essence of oneself in the rush of everyday life: however, it is good not to forget the need for physical activity and relaxation. A good balance between professional and private life must become the goal of conscious and planned change. A rested person is a productive person!