Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) identified five competencies and three foundation skills that are essential for those entering the workforce. Listening skills were among the foundation skills SCANS identified.
Now Pay Attention
Here's Why You Need Good Listening Skills
By Dawn Rosenberg McKay, About.com Guide
Why You Need Good Listening SkillsGood listening skills make workers more productive. The ability to listen carefully will allow you to:
- better understand assignments and what is expected of you;
- build rapport with co-workers, bosses, and clients;
- show support;
- work better in a team-based environment;
- resolve problems with customers, co-workers, and bosses;
- answer questions; and
- find underlying meanings in what others say.
How to Listen WellThe following tips will help you listen well. Doing these things will also demonstrate to the speaker that you are paying attention. While you may in fact be able to listen while looking down at the floor, doing so may imply that you are not.
- maintain eye contact;
- don't interrupt the speaker;
- sit still;
- nod your head;
- lean toward the speaker;
- repeat instructions and ask appropriate questions when the speaker has finished.
Barriers to ListeningBeware of the following things that may get in the way of listening.
- bias or prejudice;
- language differences or accents;
- worry, fear, or anger; and
- lack of attent