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Improve business performance by creating an active listening culture

By Beverly Landais, CEO, Devereux Chambers

21 March 2012

I often wonder what would happen if people actually listened to each other. You know, really listened. This means not speaking themselves but taking the time to absorb the message and reflect upon it before jumping in with their views.

All sorts of interesting possibilities present themselves. Misunderstandings can be avoided. Good ideas can become great. Efficiencies can be found. Respect and mutual understanding can be enhanced. New and more effective ways of working can be developed. Quite simply, the art of active listening is the single most important behaviour that builds empathy and puts us in the right frame of mind to spot opportunities.

So why don’t we do it more often? Receptive listening can be dumped in favour of a permanently ‘on’ broadcast approach, often because of time pressures. Sometimes it stems from a misgu...

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