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Listening Improves Emotional Intelligence

Monday, April 23, 2018

Soft skills are in high demand in the modern workplace, and according to many, emotional intelligence is just as important as experience when considering a potential new employee. Developing emotional intelligence is a tricky prospect, though. Unlike hard skills and experience, this quality is often difficult to define, and harder to cultivate. One factor, however, has proven to help people build up their levels of emotional intelligence: the ability to listen. In a social situation, listening to what people are communicating to understand their experiences will help the listener develop compassion and empathy, both of which are critical factors in developing high levels of emotional intelligence. Additionally, by developing active listening skills, the listener will also develop the communication skills needed to convey the nuances of their own mood states. The broader the available vocabulary, the more effective communication will become. One important thing to remember in active listening to cultivate emotional intelligence, particularly for managers, is that most of the time, people aren’t looking to have their problem solved; they are looking to communicate their frustration. By actively listening and responding to the mood they are presenting, emotional intelligence will be heightened.

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Currently, I'm enrolled in ATD's Expert Coach program and I've learned the term "global listening." Most people engage in Internal Listening, which involves listening from your own perspective. Now, that I'm aware of the differences I've started practicing focus listening moving into global listening. It's great! I'm feeling more connected to the person and I'm hearing and understanding what's actually being communicated, which in turn strengthen my emotional intelligence.
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