Monday, April 23, 2012

Kinsley Education Center

SETTING THE STANDARD FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION THROUGH GOOD LISTENING SKILLS

In the last issue of the Kinstructor, Kinsley President and COO Jon Kinsley reminded us that communication is key to our success as a company. As we focus on heightening our communication skills, it is crucial to focus on listening, the often forgotten partner to speaking in the exchange of information. When we communicate with our co-workers, clients, and subcontractors, we are both speakers and listeners in every instance of communication.

Communication is “the act of transmitting or conveying information or ideas.” When we communicate verbally, a speaker focuses on conveying the information, and a listener focuses on receiving the information. Typically, we place a higher value on our role as the speaker because it is important to us that our ideas are heard, but our role as the listener is equally as important for useful communication to occur. As an effective listener, our role is to understand what is being said and to respond appropriately.

Instructors at Kinsley Education Center use various methods to assure that the information they are teaching has been understood. For instance, testing and feedback from class evaluations enable instructors to refine the classroom content and to develop new methods for teaching procedures, safety
practices and skills.

We encourage you to try out several of the hints below to see how making a few changes in your listening style can result in communication that is more effective.

BENEFITS OF GOOD LISTENING SKILLS ON THE JOB:
• Better understanding of assignments and expectations
• Increased rapport with co-workers, supervisors, subcontractors, and clients
• Greater work proficiency in a team-based environment
• Improved ability to resolve problems with customers, co-workers, and supervisors

HELPFUL HINTS TO IMPROVE YOUR LISTENING SKILLS:
• Maintain good eye contact
• Speak back what has been said by paraphrasing and get confirmation from the speaker that you have understood
• Ask questions, clarify points, and summarize speaker’s comments
• Allow the speaker to finish – do not interrupt
• Do not formulate your response before the speaker has made their original point

When information or ideas from a speaker are successfully received through good listening skills, the communication results in positive outcomes and goals being met. This is a win-win scenario for everyone.

Article written by:
Bonnie Brown