Virtual Listening in a Remote Setting

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It is the recipient who communicates. The so-called communicator, the person who emits the communication does not communicate; he utters. Unless there is someone who listens, there is no communication. There is only noise. ~ Peter Drucker

This blog is all about improving your virtual listening skills.  Please watch the video with my colleague Michael Fraidenburg, an expert in running online meetings. 

The following is a short summary of the importance of improving active listening in a remote setting.

Active listening is about choosing an attitude that supports understanding what the other person means to communicate. It's also about helping you to see the issue or topic as the speaker sees and understands it. 

It takes practice to be a good listener. 

Listening is not the same as hearing. Listening is about being present and paying attention to other people’s emotions, body movement, and language. It is about showing empathy and understanding without constantly evaluating or judging. When you become a good listener, you will also be better at listening to your inner voice. (Positive Psychology)

Listening Facts:

  • Listening has been identified as one of the top skills employers seek in entry-level employees as well as those being promoted (ILA).
  • Active listening is about being objective, putting yourself in another's shoes, and taking in information with no judgement or personal bias.
  • Active listening IS NOT about agreement or sympathy. 
  • In Active Listening, it's the Listener's responsibility to make it safe for the speaker to talk.
  • The average person talks at a rate of about 125 – 175 words per minute, while we can listen at a rate of up to 450 words per minute (Carver, Johnson, & Friedman, 1970).
  • Even though most of us spend the majority of our day listening, it is the communication activity that receives the least instruction in school (Coakley & Wolvin, 1997). 
  • Listening accounts for approximately 1/3 of the characteristic's perceivers use to evaluate communication competence in co-workers (Arnold, 1995).  
  • Listening and nonverbal communication training significantly influences multicultural sensitivity (Timm & Schroeder, 2000).


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