Greenpage:Green Banking Gets Warm Response: BB EP Report Local and foreign banks have spontaneously responded to the central bank’s efforts to make the country’s banking practices environment-friendly, a ... Read more
EditorialThe government is going to resume giving new gas connections to households, officially after about three years. The prime minister has approved the plan when he... Read more
Cover:Gas to Woo Voters Mollah Amzad Hossain After a moratorium for 1,030 days, at last Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has approved residential gas connections. The industrial an... Read more
Energy & Power on Facebook
Special News to Email
Corporate World: Effective Listening
Back in 1996 as the Chief Executive Of Bangladesh Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Ltd (Milk Vita) I wanted some collaboration with Grameen Bank particularly in respect of micro financing for our milk farmers to buy cows in our different milk collection areas. An exclusive meeting was arranged with Professor Muhammad Yunus. It was in his chamber at Grameen Bank Head Quarter at Mirpur. In his modest chamber with big open book shelf behind him it was a different environment which attracted me. It was almost an hour meeting amidst Dalpuri and tea. But I soon realized that the amazing soft spoken person made me speak more than him by asking lot of questions. He was listening more and acquiring information about us. I had already dual background of engineering and business and had some cross-cultural experience at home and aboard. But that day I felt the importance of active listening in a big way. Generally our leaders and bosses speak more and listen less. The meeting with Professor Yunus was a real deviation from the common practice.
Listening is an important component in the process of communication. It is an instrument which we keep on using throughout life for gathering information and acquiring knowledge. But all hearing is not listening. We sometimes have to hear what we do not want to hear. And certainly we do not try to interpret the meaning of everything that we hear. Listening on the other hand is a four stage self-generated activity. The first stage is the reception of the sound wave through the ears. The second is the interpretation of the sound received and the third an evaluation of the interpreted meaning in the context of the needs and expectations of the listener. The fourth stage is the reaction to the message. Listening is thus purposeful hearing which is very essential.
Listening is very important for us. It improves our intellectual ability to understand and evaluate the views and opinions expressed by others. It enables us to gather proper and accurate information, facilitating appropriate decision making. It also assists us to establish rapport with coworkers and others quickly.
There are various purposes of listening. We listen for socialization, for relaxation, for inspiration, for elevation and sometimes even for recreation during our leisure time. But in the context of performance of our duties there are two specific purposed of listening.
- We listen to gain new information and ideas transmitted through both formal and informal channels.
- Listening enables us to participate effectively in discussion and other interactions. Unless we listen to the points made or views expressed by the other participants in a speech situation we would not be able to react rightly and to put forward proper arguments supporting our views.
Business scholars prescribe the following ways to improve listening skill:
- Prepare yourself to listen by gathering information about the setting, the topic and the speaker.
- Do not pre-judge the speaker because of a appearance or occupation.
- Have a positive attitude towards both the speaker and the topic.
- Keep an open mind. First try to understand what is being said and then evaluate it with reference to the context.
- Concentrate on the matter being spoken, carefully indentifying the main points.
- Observe the nonverbal clues such as twinkle in the eye, flourish of hands, shrugging of shoulders, facial expression etc that is listen with your eyes and not merely with ears.
- Ignore distraction such as unimpressive dress, odd body movements, or speech mannerisms of the speaker.
- Establish eye contact. This shows that you are listening, as does your posture.
- Give feedback. Learn to give positive feedback non-verbally, by nodding, smiling and so on.
- Refrain from interruptions, premature comments or direct advice. Wait till your turn comes or till you are invited to comments and ask questions.
- Have patience while listening.
- Take notes systematically.
To listen more effectively we must attend physically-the right body language helps us to focus on the speaker and encourages the speaker to give us more information. Also we should attend mentally-follow the speaker’s flow of thought, listen to understand, not evaluate; listen first, then assess. Finally check it verbally-paraphrase, clarify, prove further, and summarize your understanding.
To be successful in our career or life like Professor Yunus we all need to be excellent listener. We have prior experience of listening during our stay in mother’s womb for 9 to 10 months but after our birth generally we want to speak more than listen. But Allah has given us two ears and only one mouth. So we should listen more.
Energy and Management ConsultantLast Updated on Saturday, 18 May 2013 13:36