2.3.2 – Motivation

Listening to Communicate

The purpose of active listening is that we move from listening to download information with a mind seeking to confirm what we already to know to a level of listening where we seek to understand, with an open heart and open mind so that we are able to identify and collaboratively identify new solutions and ways of working.

The way to improve your listening skills is to practice ‘active listening’. 

This is where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that the other person is saying, but more importantly, the complete message being communicated. 

In order to do this, you must pay attention to the other person very carefully. You cannot allow yourself to become distracted by whatever else may be going on around you, or by forming counter arguments while the other person is still speaking. 

Do not allow yourself to get bored and lose focus on what the other person is saying.

In 2006, Otto Scharmer developed his model of four levels of listening.

These four levels of listening describe the quality of awareness and attentions that individuals give to a situation, and when you understand at what level you are listening you are able to then operate from a deeper, more strategic perspective and level of awareness.

With this deeper level of awareness and understanding you can develop your leadership capacity and improve performance.

As leader, learning to operate at a higher level of listening enables you to understand what your team could achieve, and how they could support the development of your organization.

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