We all know how important effective communication is in the workplace. But, when you think of the phrase “effective communication,” it is easy to simply think about it as a one-way street. It is, however, important to realize that in addition to giving information, you are also sometimes on the receiving end. And this is when you should be utilizing your LISTENING skills.

I like to call listening the “silent skill,” because it’s not a skill that you can generally observe in a person right away. Listening is a very important skill to have though, in order to work with others.

improve listening skills

“Man’s inability to communicate is a result of his failure to listen effectively.” – Carl Rogers, Psychologist. In today’s fast-paced working environment, it is easy to rush conversations and to only participate in conversation in order to get your point across. You’ll engage in conversation, only to be formulating your response, or thinking of the next point you want to make, without fully hearing everything that the other person has to say.

This cycle makes it extremely difficult to have a productive conversation, and it makes for mis-communication to occur more easily and frequently. That’s why we’re showing you ways to improve communication in the workplace. These simple changes will help transform your communication skills from being a one-way street to a two-way street!

Why should you listen at work?

1. Save Time

Improve listening skills, save yourself time! Above all, truly listening in your daily conversations at work will save you time. When you’re not practicing your best listening skills, it is easy to forget or completely miss, or misinterpret what the other person is saying.

Listening effectively will ensure that you save yourself those follow up questions and conversations that could otherwise be avoided, if you used good listening skills in the first place.

2. Make Friends

It’s always nice to have friends around the office. Even if you’re just talking over lunch or in the hallways, when you’re truly listening, it makes it easier to engage in future conversations. If your co-worker was telling you about her vacation (and you’re listening), next time you see them you can remember something to talk about to start conversation with.

3. Be Efficient

Avoid having to ask unnecessary follow-up questions (especially those questions that have already been answered), by implementing good listening skills in the first place. It will make your work and time more efficient if you are fully engaged during your work meetings.

4. Show Respect 

Being fully engaged in your conversations shows a great deal of respect towards the other person. It shows that you value their time, opinions and ideas, which reflects back on you. When you have created a mutual respect, it makes for for great communication and idea sharing. Not only is this productive, but it can help you be more efficient, make friends and avoid conflict!improve listening skills

5. Avoid Conflict 

Often times when you are partially listening, you can misinterpret the information you are receiving which can lead to workplace conflict. It is very easy to avoid this conflict by implementing your listening skills in the first place.

Here are some simple ways to improve listening skills:

1. Write it Down what you want to say

Take an extra minute to prepare for your meeting/conversation or whatever else it may be. Write down the specific points that you want to make. That way, when the other person is talking, you’re not thinking about the next point you want to make, you can actually listen to what they have to say.

This doesn’t have to be an extensive list, but rather a simple bullet point list of keywords that will help you remember your topics of discussion. This is a great, simple way to improve listening skills and it will also ensure that you’re always prepared!improve listening skills

2. Don’t  interrupt

Sometimes it can be hard not to interrupt when you feel like you have a very important point to share. But, that excitement can sometimes be perceived as an interruption. So, to avoid this misinterpretation while still getting your point across, we emphasize writing down your points (as we mentioned in step #1).

Make sure you have a pad of paper and pen with you at your meetings so you can write down your thoughts as they come up in conversation. That way,
when the time is appropriate, you can share what you have to say without interrupting.

3. Jot Down Questions

In addition to writing down what you want to say, you may come up with some questions as the other person is making their point. Instead of interrupting the conversation, jot down the question on a piece of paper. That way, when they are finished talking, you can ask your question. This will help the conversation to be more efficient and organized.

4. Use Appropriate Body Language 

People often over look body language as a form of communication. But, with face-to-face communication, body language is increasingly important. It is fairly easy to detect a person’s attitude or mood by reading the non-verbal cues we are given from their body language.

improve listening skillsFor example, if your arms are crossed while you’re talking, people may assume that you’re angry about something. We all have our natural body language, but when you are practicing your best listening skills make sure that your body language also says “I’m listening.” This means: positioning your body towards the person, looking at the person and maintaining an open posture.

5. Recap the Conversation

Whether you mentally recap your conversation or meeting, or write it down, summarizing important conversations can be very important. It will help you remember what you discussed so that you don’t have to ask the other person questions. Also, you can use this as a way to document your meetings or conversations, if you ever happen to need the information again in the future!

What do you do to improve your listening skills? Do you have any other tips for how to practice effective communication? Share them with us!  

Find Lauren Baker on Google+.

Lauren Baker

Team Contributor


Sign up for tips on crafting the perfect team.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



around the world podcast logo

Get ideas, inspiration and best practices from across the globe.

apple podcast logo spotify podcast logo

Be a Guest Blogger

Do you have any useful tips, tricks, guides, or valuable insights about company culture?

Learn more  

Sign up for tips on crafting the perfect team.

Less drama? Greater productivity and job satisfaction? Yes, you really can make an impact, and TeamBonding is here to help. Subscribe to our blog for useful tips, tricks and insights.

More great content based on your likes.

Take Two Twosday: 12 Steps to Take in 2022

Coming out of a pandemic, we all wish these past two years could have a take two. Twosday, 2/22/2022 is a hopeful numerical palindrome that holds more significance than just your average day. What’s a numerical palindrome? A number you can read the same way forwards and backward. Many people use days like this to hold a special event like a wedding, announcement, or party for an easy, lucky day to remember.

Read More  

5 Ideas To Motivate Your Team & Employees In 2022

For decades now, there has been an acute issue plaguing HR workers and managers around employee and team motivation. An unmotivated employee or team can lead to decreased productivity and morale, higher turnover, and a lack of cohesion throughout the organization. There are many theories on how to best motivate employees. Some think that monetary incentives are the only way to truly motivate employees, while others believe motivation can be found through better work culture. Before we can truly understand how to motivate work teams and employees, we must first understand the different types of workplace motivators.

Read More  

Meet the Team: Claudia Restrepo

In this series of articles, we take a few minutes to chat with a member of the TeamBonding team so you can get an idea of the sort of people we are. In this installment, we talked to Sales Admin Claudia Restrepo about her favorite food, what she would bring to a desert island, and more!

Read More  

10 Workplace Wellness Tips to Maintain Mental & Physical Wellness 

As we ring in 2022, there is no doubt that we are entering the year with a sense of uncertainty at the workplace. With the ebb and flow of the Coronavirus pandemic comes ever-changing workplace policies. While some companies are allowing more employees to come into the office, some have remained fully remote, and others have adopted a hybrid working model. While some aspects of work have become inconsistent, workplace wellness is the one constant that has followed us through the past 2 years. Follow our 10 tips to promote physical and mental wellness at work this year, whether you are working in person, in a hybrid environment, or remotely.

Read More  

Questions? Need a quote?

Complete this form to get started or call 877-472-2725.

Loading Icon

Create Your Free Account

Get exclusive access to new programs from the TeamBonding Lab, save your favorite ideas, and track your upcoming events.
Already have an account? Login

Please wait...


Don't yet have an account?
Create a Free Account

Forgot Your Password? Password Reset