Always Listen First


by What’s For Work?

Always Listen First

There are plenty of tips and tricks when it comes to communication nowadays, but one that stands out, is the Always Listen First (ALF) method.

In all aspects of life, especially business, it’s always a good idea to adhere to the ALF method. By listening first, you have an opportunity to really understand what another person is trying to say before making assumptions or allowing the conversation to take a different direction.

When it comes to your career for example, by listening first, you set yourself apart from others in the organization that may over-talk each other, or take longer to reach a desired outcome. The idea is to first have a clear understanding before taking action, instead of acting without a clear understanding.

Tips for Success

1. Actively listen, then ask questions

During conversations, make a point to actively listen to the other person first. Resist the temptation to interrupt them while they’re speaking, even if you feel it’s taking them awhile to get to their core message. We all want to be heard, so spend the extra time to hear what they have to say. Once it’s your turn to speak, ask questions to learn more about what was said.

2. Confirm your understanding

Following the Q&A process in step one, recap the conversation by confirming your understanding of what was said and being asked. By recapping in your own words, the other person has another opportunity to validate their own message to you, before you get started on anything following the conversation.

3. Request feedback

Assuming the initial conversation involved some action on your part, it’s a good idea to return to the person and request feedback, as appropriate  Requesting feedback from the person allows you to get a sense if you’re heading in the right direction, or if you need to make adjustments. It may also show the other person how much you value their opinion, and your interest to get things done right.

Self Discovery Questions

  1. How often do I listen first, before speaking?
  2. Would I be more effective at work by making adjustments to my approach?
  3. Should I request feedback on something right now?

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. http://www.whatsforwork.com

Our Mission: Provide a community that encourages members, employers and providers to work together; to inspire and help each other grow.

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3 thoughts on “Always Listen First

  1. This is a great post about the importance of listening. In my opinion, I think that the ability to ‘actively listen’ is a skill that is very hard to achieve. I find that many people consider themselves to be great listeners, but aren’t actually listening. I agree with your comment that if you are able to carefully listen it sets you apart from everyone else as it is a great quality to possess. I think that if managers are good listeners, it could potentially make a happier workplace with less conflicts.
    I have recently written a blog post about active listening and I have compared this to police negotiators. I would really appreciate it if you were to read it and comment with your thoughts please? http://lhammerton.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/negotiation-its-not-just-used-in-a-hostage-situation/ Lisa

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