Communication Series

Active Listening

In March of 2021, it was brought to the Talent Development team that the company I work for needed a communication series of training. I was tasked with analyzing, designing, developing and implementing the series of trainings that we would embark on for the group. After thinking about the communication process, I landed on training one being active listening. Below are some slides to highlight the training, with video to come soon.

How I outlined the training is as such:

  1. Define
    • What is communication?
    • How does one listen?
    • What is active listening?
  2. How well do you listen?
    • Activity
      • Play a clip, have audience write out what they hear.
  3. What affects us from listening?
    1. Outside sounds
      • Take a moment to listen, what do you hear around you?
      • How does that noise affect you from listening to what I’m saying?
    2. Daily Tasks
      • You’re in the middle of working on something, and you’re distracted.
      • Getting up from your desk and getting stopped in the hallway
    3. Technology
      • Phone buzzing
      • Watch buzzing
      • Email on your computer
      • Instant Messages
  4. Actively Listening
    • Active listening allows you to understand problems and collaborate to develop solutions
    • Think of a time where you didn’t listen and had to follow up with someone. How did it feel? How do you think that person felt?
  5. How do you actively listen?
    • Neutral and nonjudgmental
    • Patient (periods of silence are not “filled”)
    • Verbal and nonverbal feedback to show signs of listening (e.g., smiling, eye contact, leaning in, mirroring)
    • Asking questions
    • Reflecting back what is said
    • Asking for clarification
    • Summarizing
  6. How do you not actively listen?
    • Being stuck in your own head
    • Not showing respect for the speaker
    • Only hearing superficial meaning (not hearing underlying meaning)
    • Interrupting
    • Not making eye contact
    • Rushing the speaker
    • Becoming distracted
    • “Topping” the story (saying “that reminds me of the time…”)
    • Forgetting what was said in the past
    • Asking about unimportant details
    • Focusing too much on details and missing the big picture
    • Ignoring what you don’t understand
    • Daydreaming
    • Only pretending to pay attention
  7. Know when you Cannot Listen
    • It’s your responsibility to let the person know that you’re speaking to that you cannot give your full attention.
  8. Active Listening and Business Development
    • Important to active listen so the understand client needs
    • Upsell opportunities
    • No when to say no when active listening
  9. Wrap – Up
    • Go over how to fully listen
  10. Q&A

This interactive training hopefully will inspire and change some of the habits we have within the company as

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